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BromsMods
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I threatened some time ago that I would start an account of the model railway I always wanted to construct but have never had time to do whilst I have been working and latterly running the Bromsgrove Models business.  Well I have started and construction is well under way, but more of that later.

A brief background and raison d'etre which hopefully won't bore too much!  There will be three elements to the layout comprising two stations and a large fiddle yard.  The two stations will be called Chelford and Oxsea and the fiddle yard (on a lower level) is Battenham - you may have guessed by now that the layout is not going to be based on any particular prototypical running! Rather the names are a mixture of the places that have have a great impact on me during my lifetime - Cheltenham (where I met my wife), Oxford (where my wife comes from), Battersea (where I was born and brought up) and Chelsea (across the river from Battersea and from where my interest in football was kindled).  I haven't yet found a way of including Bromsgrove - not enough space in the shed!

I'm very much of the view that "it's my railway and I'll run what I like on it" so there are all sorts of locos and rolling stock which will appear (much of it of Southern Region origin), a lot of which I have accummulated during the last few years whilst running the models business.  I'm more into running trains rather than fine detailing models and scenery and I am finding the ability to carry out fine working more challenging as age progresses so most things will be RTR or off the shelf.  There will, however, be a number of US and Canadian items appearing - I have a cousin in Canada and was very impressed with the Canadian railways when over there and the quality of North American models, so have been collecting a number of examples of their locos and rolling stock.

I'm not a fan of computer control though I am very much into DCC - for me a train needs to be controlled by a human being with enhanced control  being provided by the additional features that digital control can provide.  The layout will be divided into a number of blocks and points and signals will be controlled by DCC - hopefully all will be visible on a couple of mimic boards (when I've built them!!).

Control will be provided by NCE DCC using the 5amp PowerPro system with a booster, a mixture of solenoid and slow-motion point motors, and block detection using Team Digital BlockD8 and NCE BD20 devices.  Solenoid and some slow motion point motors will be controlled by Team Digital SMD82 and SMD84 accessory decoders.

Updates might be irregular, as time permits (and travels to France) but I wil try to provide some photos and plans in the next few days.

emmess
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Looking forward to this one, John! Love the place names.

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Sounds great.  Bring it on!:doublethumb

Terry

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Looking forward to this. Bring it on.
Marty

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Hi John

Block detection sounds interesting, large layout quest:


Ed

PS I only went to see Fulham once in the 60s when I lived in Putney and I wasn't an avid supporter, honest :mutley


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Good luck with the layout John.Sounds like you've got your hands full.

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Ed wrote:

PS I only went to see Fulham once in the 60s when I lived in Putney and I wasn't an avid supporter, honest :mutley




I'll let you off, Ed!!  I remember going to Craven Cottage a couple of times - Johnny Haynes was a great player.

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The first £100.00 p/w player.I went to Craven Cottage once to see "the three v the six" which was a commemorative match played when Britain joined the common market with two other countries against the six already in it. Looking back it's a shame we played in it.Look at my username John and you'll see where my heart lies.

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Back to the layout, which occupies an area approx 8ft x 12ft.  I've always wanted the ability to run trains around a circuit, something I've never been able to do with other layouts I've had since I was a lad; then I was able to set up a circuit on the floor - trouble was the Triang track had to be put away.....

The layout, for the most part, is supported on kitchen cupboard carcases which are at the right height and provide a lot of storage (I need a lot of storage for all of the locos and stock I seem to have accumulated!).  Although I had started the Chelford part of the layout a couple of years ago, having built the baseboards, I had never had the time to get much further and I'm finding it much more difficult to do physical construction tasks so in September 2013 I met a model maker (Dave Walton) who recommended the use of foamboard.

Dave has been helping me (for a fee!) with the construction of the two levels of baseboard for the Battenham (lower level fiddle yard) and Oxsea (upper level terminus), the gradients and linking structures to join together the different elements.  Foamboard has been very useful and is more flexible (in many ways) and generally lighter in weight than timber.  Different thicknesses have been used - 3mm, 5mm and 10mm in order to provide the right amount of rigidity and flexibility where needed.

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It has been a few months since I last posted about this layout, so I thought that an update might be appropriate.  I've been away in France a couple of times since April and have spent a fair amount of time working on the layout so the opportunities to update here have been rather limited.



This was how the right-hand side of the shed looked before we started in August last year.



We spent quite a bit of time experimenting with gradients that would work, enabling trains to move between the left hand part of the layout, the lower fiddle yard and the upper level.  I used a little digital device I purchased some time ago from Micro Mark in the US to measure gradients and this proved extremely useful in a number of areas around the layout.  The unit shown was used to test the gradients worked - interestingly the addition of weight to the non-powered car made a lot of difference. 

The photo above actually looks as though the gradient is more severe than it is, mainly because there is a downward slope of the lower board from left to right.

Once we had got the eventual position of the gradient right we started to construct the supporting timbers for the lower level against the righthand wall of the shed.




Dave then made up the foamboard baseboards to occupy the lower level.



The plan was to have a deep front edge to allow for control panels to be inserted into it, whilst the back edge would be hinged on the timber support on the wall to allow the whole central part of the lower level to be lifted.

More on this in the next post!

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A completed board is put into its approximate final position and levelled.



Each board then had a long brass hinge attached to allow the board to be lifted once in position.



The two main boards of the lower level were then joined together and glued, being held in place by clamps whilst the superglue set and were also bolted together.

The back edge of each board had timber support in order to reduce any potential distortion of the complete board when being lifted on the hinges.  Holes were drilled through the supporting structure underneath to allow wiring to pass through the underside of the board.



Dave then glue-gunned all of the joints to provide additional support to the superglue and improve rigidity.



The main power bus was then installed underneath the boards........



.....whilst on top the surface was covered in cork tiles and the start of the track layout begun (photos above and below).





The final schematic for Battenham fiddle yard is shown above.  Red numbers show the blocks and blue numbers relate to the points.  The plan is to have a mimic board using this diagram with yellow LEDs being lit when a block is occupied and red/green LEDS indicating the direction each point is set.

I already have the LEDs to enable this to happen but I'm rather torn over what to use as the material to use to mount the diagram.  If anyone has some (sensible!) suggestions they would be much appreciated.  I had envisaged the thickness of the material being not more than 3mm.




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Well, it appears that all the photos I took of progress from that in the last post to today have been wiped from the SD card in my camera!! I thought I had already copied them onto my computer, but alas I cannot find them!

Before showing progress to date, a word of warning to anyone who has a layout exposed to direct sunlight.





Many years ago, soon after the shed had been built and I had managed to create a small layout on the window side of the shed, I had left some of the stock I had on the track in front of the window.  It hadn't occurred to me that sunlight would have such a dramatic effect.  The damage shown in the photos above occurred over a few weeks when I couldn't get to the railway.  I soon installed roller blinds which are now permanently closed!

It does still get very hot in the shed during the summer (even with the door open).  I fully insulated the shed several years ago and have a small heater in it which is left on frost-stat during the winter months (and turned up when I am in there!!) and also a dehumidifier which is on most of the time when I'm at home.

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One of the (numerous) problems to be overcome with the layout was how to bridge the doorway whilst still leaving access for humans and gardening equipment.  The bridging area between Battenham and Chelford would also have a slight gradient as Chelford (on the window side of the shed) is at a slightly higher level.  The answer was to have a folding section.



The whole section is supported in the middle with two sturdy timber uprights close to the hinged folding point.  The Chelford end of the bridging section sits on a support on the end of the baseboard and is bolted into position, one each side, to ensure rigidity and correct alignment.

When folded the section looks like this.........



Power is fed to the section from the Battenham side.  However, there was an issue which had to be resolved to avoid short circuits - when folded the tracks on the two sections come into contact, so if power is on to the rest of the layout a way had to be found to allow the layout to be used whilst the bridging section was down.



The answer was to fit two on/off switches, one for each track.  Unfortunately these were rather difficult to fit as they are on 10mm foamboard, hence the lack of alignment!!

The track on the bridging section (as on all the exposed track on the layout) is laid on DCC Concepts foam underlay but hasn't yet been ballasted, though I have given the rest of the folding boards a coat of grey undercoat on the top surface.

Last edited on Thu Jul 10th, 2014 11:00 pm by BromsMods

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As I said in an earlier post the wide foamboard fascia provides a good surface in which to locate the NCE panels into which the throttles can be plugged, being connected together by cables which daisy-chain between the panels.  I've also a few throttle pockets which are invaluable for locating the throttles.

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The Oxsea and Battenham side of the layout is protected by a PXS2, with one output going to Battenham and the other to Oxsea.  The Chelford side of the layout is protected by a PSX1.



In addition each level has an additional circuit protector used to power accessories - the photo above shows a NCE EB1 which powers SMD84 accessory decoders, one of which (currently not connected up) is next to it.  The SMD84s control Peco point motors, a mixture of PL10W low current motors and PL13 surface mount devices, as shown below on Battenham.



BlocD8 block detectors from Team Digital have been used for train detection........



You might notice that two wires go through some of the detectors.  This is because some of the sections have been cut where the sections go across two boards so there is one wire from the same section on both boards (if that makes sense!).  The small circuit board plugged into the bottom of the BlockD8 will provide outputs to the mimic board so that I can see more easily on the track plan where there is track occupancy.

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Wiring of the blocks has now been completed for both Oxsea and Battenham.  The photo above shows the centre board (of 3) of Oxsea where I have just started installing Traintronics point motors.  The first Oxsea board (to the right in the photo) only has 5 points and I used a mixture of Peco and Seep motors here.  Whilst wiring these up I discovered that it is possible to switch 2 Peco PL10W (low power) motors simultaneously from one SMD84 output on a crossover I have in the main station.

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One of the aims in controlling the layout was to be able to switch a number of points with one command, in order to create a route.  This is especially important in the Battenham fiddle yard as it is out of sight.

The NCE system allows a large number of routes to be created using their macros, a series of up to 10 commands which can be stored in each macro.  Macros can be linked so that a very complex route can be set.  There is one caveat to this, though - only the last instruction in the macro can be used to link to the next macro and the linked macro must already exist for the macro being constructed to work.  I found it necessary to work backwards when actually creating the macros and to create a blank spreadsheet on which I could pencil in all of the switching necessary to create a route and then divide up the instructions into blocks of 9 (assuming there were more than 10 instructions necessary).  I found the printed spreadsheet boxes invaluable for scribbling in (and often changing!) when trying to determine which way each point should be switched.

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Well I managed to find a couple of the photos I thought I had deleted from the SD card in my camera - just hidden at the end of the photos taken in New Zealand!!



This photo shows the structure used to assemble each of the foamboard boards.  The wooden inserts were put into the back of each board to provide additional support and rigidity where the board is hinged against the backwall of the shed.

On reflection I think a piece of timber would have been better down the centre of the board as this would have provided a little more support.  The foamboard is quite flexible and does bend when there is a lot of weight on it.  I'm also not sure how much the heat we have been experiencing during recent weeks has impacted on the lack of rigidity of the foamboard.



The photo above shows two of the boards being used to control and monitor the lower level - on the left is a Team Digital SMD82 which controls 8 of the Peco points on the lower level.  The board on on the right is the Team Digital BlockD8 which allows 8 tracks to be monitored for occupation.  The small board which appears to be hanging downward from the BlockD8 provides links to LEDs on a mimic board, yet to be constructed and wired up!



This was, perhaps, the most difficult board to construct as it has to lift and also link with the gradient from Chelford.



This view shows the two gradients at the far end of the layout, with one going downwards (at the back) to the fiddle yard (Battenham) and the other linking with Oxsea, to the right, on the upper level.



This close-up of the end board shows the problems which had to be overcome, including allowing for a gradient which will link successfully with Chelford.  The gradient itselt has a break where the board lifts, but the gradient inbuilt into the board was relatively easy to do (once the curvature had been calculated) as the foamboard was just cut and its flexibility allowed movement of the cut section to the correct position.



The photo above shows the completed upper level boards in position.  Providing supports for the upper level was not straightforward as the fiddle yard tracks beneath are fairly close together so metal brackets and a piece of timber offcut had to be used to provide support where two of the boards meet at the front of the layout.



I have already provided photos of the bridging section of the layout at the door end of the shed but this is just a view of that section from outside the shed.

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This is looking fantastic, very neat wiring there.

Keep up the good work

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Thanks Jimmy.  Wiring not as tidy as I'd like! There is a lot of it, though!!

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Well, I'm left with a frustrating problem to ponder this evening. Have installed two surface mount Peco points this afternoon on the top board in locations where it isn't possible to install below the board.  Connected up to a new Team Digital SMD84 which I then programmed for non-sequential accessory addresses.  One motor has switched intermittently in one direction and the other not at all.  Have checked that wires inserted properly into SMD84.......

Will have to try to resolve this tomorrow!

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Problem resolved!!

It took a little time but, as with most things I find, it was down to user error - or rather the user failing to understand the instructions in the manual correctly.  The SMD84 manual could have been more helpful but, as with many user manuals (especially from the US) they are written by technicians and not end users.

I rigged up a separate solenoid point motor and connected it into another output and reset the SMD84.  That worked, so I then tested the motors already connected up - they worked on the default settings.  So I then configured the SMD84 to start with the motor number I really wanted to use - it set up 8 sequential numbers from that point.  That worked. I moved on to configure 8 non-sequential numbers - that didn't work.......  back to the drawing board and re-reading the manual!

I went through the process outlined above for a second time.  When I came to non-sequential number configuration, though, I now realised that it was necessary to set both the number AND the motor type (previously expecting the default solenoid type to be set for each output).  This worked successfully, so now I can move on to install some more Traintronics motors later today.

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Two more Traintronics point motors installed this afternoon, so this is the current state of the underside of the centre board of Oxsea (the upper level).



The recommendation from Traintronics is to cut the pin before installing the motor.  I'm not happy about doing this (I'm sure I would make an incorrect measurement and then cut it in the wrong place!) so I prefer to install the motor first and check that the pin is correctly located and the motor works correctly.



The photo above shows the pin on the motor poking through the point.



Next step is to cut most of the excess pin off using a metal cutting disc and Dremel.  I don't cut close to the plastic in which the pin is located.  This is to avoid damaging surrounding rails but also protects against generating too much heat on the pin itself which could melt the plastic.



Final step is to use a grinding wheel to get rid of the excess and take the top of the pin down to the top of the plastic.

Now for the four remaining point motors to be installed on this board.

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Unfortunately I can't find the new Traintronics point motors I thought I had, so I've had to order some more.

Whilst I await their arrival I have been doing some other little jobs, first of which was to paint two of the upper level boards in a grey undercoat.  This gets rid of the bright white of the foamboard and means I can add other scenic bits and pieces as required without having to worry about covering up the baseboard colour.



I have also uncovered a number of old items of rolling stock I've had for many a year, including the Wrenn box wagons shown below.......



A number of the very old items have plastic wheels and I would like to replace these at some time in the not too distant future with metal versions, when I have sourced the correct type.

I also found a couple of old Hornby Pullman coaches which also had plastic wheels and I have managed to replace those with some spare meteal wheels I had of the same type.  The photo below shows the new metal axled wheels on the right and the old plastic wheels on the left.



Sorry about the darkness of the photo - I tried several times to improve the contrast, and even used flash, but I guess the whole unit is very dark and it becomes difficult to differentiate different elements.

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Following this build with interest John.

You mention using 'foam board' - is it actually Foamex, a type of expanded uPVC? I've been using 6mm thick off-cuts from our local sign-board company. Very similar to uPVC soffit material. With experience I found heat gun glue can give way after a while, so I've been using solvent gel that actually bonds the plastic (use in a well ventilated area!)

ATB
Shaun.

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Hi Shaun

To be honest I couldn't be specific about the product as it was all sourced by Dave Walton.  He has put the boards together, using a type of superglue intially and then reinforcing the joints with the glue gun.

I have found that even with all of the cross members under the boards and the 10mm edges it is starting to warp a little longways - this might be because I have a lot of locos on it and/or the extreme heat we have been experiencing recently.  The shed has consistently reached over 30 degrees C over the last 10 weeks or so - it is insulated and has a dehumidifier in it which is on over night.  I'll certainly have to look at where I can put more supports so that it doesn't become extreme warping!!

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Well new point motors arrived from Traintronics and are now installed so that's completed the motorisation of points on the middle board of Oxsea.  I had to go back and reprogram most of the motors, either to make sure point blades were consistently facing the right direction when in NORMAL position and/or to switch off non-DCC mode.  This involved resetting CV2 on each motor (the default being 3) to a value of 0 if the motor was operating in the right direction or 128 if the action of the motor had to be reversed in order to achieve a NORMAL position.  This process was made simpler by just rigging up a couple of wires as a harness which could be connected to each motor in turn on one end and to the programming track output of the PowerPro at the other end.

I also purchased some more TT301 DCC signal control boards whilst I was at it as I have a number of Traintronics signals which I want to install and these boards will link with the point motors in a number of instances to combine control of both points and signals.

Now on to the far end board of the top level - this will be more of a challenge as it is quite difficult to reach into the corner across workbench (or it will be when I've tidyied it and can see the top!) and other things - good job I haven't installed the turntable board yet!!

Last edited on Thu Aug 14th, 2014 10:40 pm by BromsMods

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First two point motors installed with no problems.

Next point has an issue as it isn't possible to install the motor because of a support which goes underneath exactly where the motor should be located. Solution is to replace the point with a medium radius which will enable a shift of motor location, but this will have to wait now until the end of next month.

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John, I had that problem on my now defunct layout.  I was using Tortoise motors and was able to solve my problem with a remote mount:

http://www.circuitron.com/index_files/Tortoise.htm... scroll down a bit.

Maybe your point motors can be adapted to use it or perhaps Traintronics have something similar.

FWIW

John

 

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Thanks for the suggestion John, but I don't have much depth to play with under the board, hence my use of Traintronics motors. I think replacing the point with one slightly longer is the easiest solution - I do have enough space on top of the board for such an installation before I hit a curve.

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Replacement medium length electrofrog left-hand point purchased today from Footplate in Kidderminster. 

Was the first chance I have had to get there since returning from France earlier in the week and their new premises are a real improvement on their old shop (which was on the opposite side of the road to the new one).  Plenty of space and much easier to see the large array of items available.  The new glass cabinets are a great addition being both attractive and a great sales opportunity to promote a wide range of model locos.

Unfortunately I don't have time to fit the new point until next week.........

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Well, I have at last found time to install the new point but it has been a little more difficult than anticipated.  The photo below shows the difference in size between the small and medium (on top) points.  It also shows an unexpected problem I had - the red wire is one of the two power feeds soldered to the track, but using Sods' Law, they are right where the tiebar goes, so I had to disconnect them.  I will get around to reinstalling them later this week when I also sort out the frog switching.



You might also observe that there is a change of gradient at the toe of the point and the slightly greater length of the new point meant that I had to make a small adjustment to the gradient by adding some packing to make sure that any gradient change wasn't where the point meets the existing trackwork.

The next problem I had is shown below.  Sods' Law operates well on this layout...... the position of the pin going through the tiebar is shown by the two small holes drilled through the board - still much too close to the support underneath but at least it wasn't directly over the crossmember!!  I had to cut away a small piece of the supporting material (you can just make out the position I had to cut through the foamboard).



Finally the point motor was positioned and screwed to the underside of the baseboard.



The green and yellow wires shown connected to the motor are actually a pair of wires I have set up to allow programming of the point motors.  I find this extremely useful and is quicker than any other method I could think of, the wires being permanently connected to the programming track output at present. When the permanent power wires are connected they will link to the terminals shown bottom right.  This is one of a pair of points on a crossover, so both point motors have been given the same accessory address.  This means that both switch together and seems to work well on the NCE system.

Next task is to connect up the bus wires (shown hanging loose) to the track, set up the frog switching and tidy up the wiring with cable ties.

Last edited on Wed Sep 24th, 2014 10:27 pm by BromsMods

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Well, despite my best efforts, there is still unfortunately a slight "hump" where the new point joins the existing trackwork.  Most locos don't have a problem with this, but the Dapol Western is a particular problem. There isn't enough flexibility in the bogies either vertically (for this problem) or horizontally (for tightish curves) to allow it to run without derailing, so the task for this afternoon is to sort out the foam ballast used underneath this join.

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This afternoon I spent an hour installing the last two Traintronics point motors on the end board of the upper level and eventually sorting out the gradients of the other two lines which join Oxsea to the lower level.  Dapol Western was again the problem - other locos, including steam didn't have a problem with negotiating the original tracwork.

Next step is to install the last two point motors on the upper level, but these will be Peco surface mounted motors as I can't access the points from below.  WIll have to think about how I can disguise these two motors which are within the loco shed storage roads area.

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Started to do the wiring for the two Peco motors mentioned above this afternoon but just too hot in the shed, added to which I've got the mother of all colds with an awful cough, so completion will have to wait until later in the week.

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Moved on with the wiring of these two point motors late yesterday.



Connected up to SMD84 and tested.  The motors both threw correctly. 

However, I now have two problems which need resolving.

The first should be fairly simple - having got the wiring in place I thought I would tidy it up, first by using cable ties and then fix the cables in place by using some conduiting I had left over from years ago when I networked computers.  However, having got it into place and managed to get the wires to stay in whilst the capping was hammered on to it (the plastic seems to have become very brittle over time!!), the motors now don't work - dead as a Dodo!  So now I'll have to get the capping off to see what has come adrift - wires were soldered together and protected by heat shrink sleeving.



Problem 2 is more severe and difficult to resolve - the point on the left creates a short when switched to straight on.  All three points in this little complex are insulfrog; rails closest to the camera are powered by red wires, furthest away by black wires, and there are no insulated rail joiners used.  The only thing I can think of at the moment is that there is a problem with the point bottom right on the photo as this was an old point which was used on a previous layout and was rather dirty.  Will have to investigate further today.

Last edited on Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 01:58 pm by BromsMods

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Well, both problems now resolved - well working as it should but not sure about an actual resolution.

Problem 1 wasn't actually a problem - more user disfunction.  I forgot that I had reassigned accessory addresses on my track diagram but hadn't actually changed the settings on the SMD84!!  I will do that when all point motors are installed and working.

Problem 2 isn't there today.......  I did nothing......  switched the power on and voila..... everything works as it should.  Another of life's mysteries............  If only everything was resolved as easily!!!!

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ooh err, that'll be them gremlins John.

Seem to get a lot on my layout........... and then they just disappear :mutley



Ed

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I'm beginning to think it might be aliens getting into the shed at night:lol::lol::lol:

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Thought a schematic of Oxsea might be useful.  Blue numbers are point motors and red are block numbers.

Point motors 58 and 59 are a double slip, 59 leading to the lower level (Battenham), which is why the line disappears!  57 and 58 lead to Chelford on the opposite side of the shed.  50/51, 48/49, 44/45 and 38/39 are also double slips.  41 leads to a goods shed to the left.  53 leads to a dairy on the left.  The top left area is a loco shed and loco storage sidings.

Last edited on Thu Oct 2nd, 2014 11:11 pm by BromsMods

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Currently wrestling with the track joins between the upper (Oxsea) level and the fixed board at the end of the layout which connects Oxsea with Chelford.  Soldering track to veroboard strips but having to adjust the gradients slightly on the Oxsea side of the joins to overcome bogies on the Dapol Western leaving the track on the joins and/or where there are marked (though very slight to my eyes) changes in gradient.  I think I'm winning (slowly!!).

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Well track aligned and all seems to work as it should from the upper level.  I have now painted the third Oxsea board in grey undercoat.

Now for the linking gradient towards Chelford.  I have set up the first two point motors to be installed (both numbered 56 on the diagram) but the physical installation is going to be a challenge as access underneath is rather limited!

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Point motors for points 56 and 57 now installed and working correctly.  I now know why I prefer having lifting sections!  Working upside down with just enough space to get my head under the board is not my favourite activity.  However, wiring up the Traintronics motors is very simple and can be done before installation - it's actually fixing the motors in place which becomes a challenge!  Just need to cut of the excess on the pins and file them down to tidy up the points.

Next job is to tackle the double slip (58 and 59 on the Oxsea diagram).  I had intended using Peco motors mounted directly to the underside of each end of the double slip.  The problem I have is that the wiring to control them would have to go a long way back to the far end of the Oxsea board to the SMD84 which I had intended to use at the control device for them.  I think I might install a couple of Traintronics motors instead, as I have a couple spare, as the wiring for these is much more straightforward.

Went to the Great Electric Train Show at Gaydon today and bought some scenic bits and pieces as well as some sound decoders from Digitrains.  I'm glad I went early as it was heaving by midday and difficult to move around in places.  One of my purchases was a ballasting device from Greenscene - looks so simple in John's demonstration......  reality might be a bit more difficult!!  Time will tell.

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Point motors (Traintronics) 58 and 59 installed and working on the double slip and I have now completed wiring up the power supply to the track and frogs on the fixed end board.

The Chelford side of the layout, as well as many of the accessories on the Battenham board, are powered from a separate NCE booster. I have always made sure that the rail nearest to me is connected via a red wire and the rail further away is connected via a black wire.  However, when I run a loco across the join between the two separately powered sections I get a short.  Didn't get time to investigate this further today but I'm hoping that it's a straight reversal of the wires coming from the booster supplied power (I live in hope, always relying on the problem being a user generated fault!!).  Unfortunately I won't be able to deal with this until the weekend.

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I haven't tried to resolve the power problem today but have spent part of the afternoon re-aligning the temporary position of trackwork linking the upper Oxsea level to the Chelford board to make sure it is all properly connected.  Hopefully will complete that task early next week.

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Short circuit problem resolved!  I spent some time scratching my head and looking for solutions yesterday, but today I spotted the problem straight away.  Embarrassed to admit it, but put in an electrofrog point on the Chelford section without any isolating rail joiners on the V.  Corrected that and now working correctly!!

I will now look at locating Kadee uncouplers in appropriate places as I intend using Kadees on some of the freight stock.  I'll locate these before ballasting the track.

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Don't feel bad about that John,i've done it a couple of times so join the club.Great feeling when you get it sorted though.

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Spurno wrote: Don't feel bad about that John,i've done it a couple of times so join the club.Great feeling when you get it sorted though.

Thanks Alan for the kind words but unfortunatley it doesn't take away from the fact that I have been advising for years that electrofrog points MUST have IRJs!!!

Have deferred planning location for Kadee uncouplers until I have installed some underboard lighting so that I can see whats happening on the Battenham fiddle yards until I have a more systematic approach to identifying trains that are located there.

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Finished adding LED lighting to the underside of the second Oxsea board today.  Hope to complete the third board on Monday - will add some photos then.

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Looking forward to some photo's.

You're coasting now. Keep it up.

Toto

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Thanks Toto!

Haven't had time to start lighting under board 3 today but thought I would add a couple of photos of the underside of board 2 as it is at present.



Some time ago I bought a long LED lighting strip (so long ago I can't remember where from!).  Rather than use the strip as a single unit I have split it up into a number of much smaller pieces, each with 3 LEDs which I hope you can make out in the photo above. The lights can be switched on and off independently on each board - you might be able to see the red switch at the top of the board, hidden underneath when the board is lowered. I decided to locate it here because the edge of the board is too thick (10mm) to poke the end of the switch through and secure it with the supplied hardware - the cross members are made of only 3mm material.



Here the LEDs are switched on, but the flash from the camera has rather taken away from the illumination provided by the LEDs, so the following photo was taken without the use of the flash.


Last edited on Mon Oct 27th, 2014 09:57 pm by BromsMods

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Hi John,

It looks very good . It also looks incredibly neat. I wish I could say the same for mine.

The sub baseboard lighting idea could find itself stolen. A great idea. Excuse my shameful weakness,........ Or at least one of them. I'll look forward to following what you are up to next.

Don't keep it a secret ......... I'm a bit sparse on the idea's front. :mutley

Cheers for now,

Toto

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:)Hi John,Your railway is coming on a treat.

I do like that wireing and those neat panels.

Following with great interest.

Derek.

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Many thanks for the supportive comments, guys. Much appreciated.   However, the cable/wiring isn't as tidy as I would really like it to be.  I have got through a large number of small cable ties and also found the self adhesive cable clamps from Maplins extremely useful and easy to use.

I have still been pondering what material to use for the mimic boards I plan to have.  I'm thinking that one of thin steel for the Battenham area would be ideal as I could then use magnetic strips with a reusable white surface to identify exactly what loco/stock was occupying an individual track.

Must start the underboard lighting for the third board today or tomorrow.

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Hi John

How about magnetic white boards, you would just need to be able to cut them down to the size you wanted.

Paul

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Thanks Paul.  I had been looking at different types of board last evening but it doesn't say how thick they are.  It must'nt be any more than 1.5mm thick.  Need A3 size.

Completed lighting under the third board this pm.  Discovered that the LEDs I am using are from Rapid Electronics, part no. 56-0480  Flexible LED strip 30-way white RC.

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Hi John

how about these for a starter

https://www.officefurnitureonline.co.uk/display-presentation-furniture/whiteboards-and-accessories/childrens-whiteboards/handheld-whiteboards/rainbow-framed-show-n-tell-laptop-whiteboards.html

Not sure of the thickness, but if they are being handed out to kids, A3 size would be too heavy at 1.5mm thick

Paul

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Hi Paul

Mmmmm..... that's similar to what I had been looking at but thickness and weight is an issue as they will mounted on a wall.  They also need to be hinged so that I can get at the electronics which will sit behind (and in) them.  I did come across a brushed stainless steel sheet which was 0.9mm thick in A3 size and reasonably cheap.

Will explore that alternatives when I can find a moment.  This retirement lark certainly keeps you busy!

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This afternoon I have added an additional support under the gradient which connects Oxsea to Chelford.  Very difficult to get at with junk and cupboards in the way but eventually managed it.

Also started to insert some of the Kadee 308 uncouplers I have.  The first one went by the goods shed at Oxsea.  Having laid the track on the DCC Concepts underlay it was quite easy fitting the uncoupler - just needed to mark out the edges at the ends of the sleepers, cut with a Stanley knife and then use scissors to cut across from one side to the other once the track had been lifted a little.  The rectangle was then removed and the uncoupling magnet placed in the vacant space in the underlay.  In order to keep the track at the right level the steel plate under the magnet was removed.  Haven't had time to test it yet as I had to readjust the track levels a little where the boards join.

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Well I had to replace the metal plate under the magnet as it didn't work without it.  Have now installed another couple of Kadee uner the track 308 uncouplers.



This shows the plate sitting under the track in the area of removed trackbed.  Joins and edges will disappear once ballast has been applied.



Apologies for the out of focus coupling!  I think you can just about see that the couplings have moved apart and are ready for uncoupling.  It does take a few moves backwards and forwards to achieve this but on speed step 1 (of 128) the movement isn't really too noticeable.



Success!

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One of the operating accessories I intend using is the colour signal range from Traintronics, a sample of which is shown below.



They will be controlled via the TT301 DCC control board (in the centre).  Each signal requires its own board but the advantage is that, used in conjunction with the Traintronics point motors, the signals can be set to work in tandem with the points.  They can also be linked together so that, for example, a distant signal showing yellow will only change to green when the next signal in the sequence is also showing green.

Time will tell how simple this is to achieve in reality!!

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Those are superb looking signals - certainly seem a mile ahead of the Eckon type.

I'm not au fait with modern signalling but are signals actually aligned with point position?

John

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Hi John

Not sure quite what you mean. My aim is to get the signals working with the points, i.e. if a set of points is against a train then the signal will be red and won't change until the points are aligned correctly and then will become green.  Also, if this signal is linked to distant signals, these will change in sequence.

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I suppose I was wondering whether the prototype did that today given the automation that I assume exists.  In the olden days points and signals would be operated separately with the point being set first and after the signalman had confirmed the route was safe, the signal would be set to on (or safe) - at least that's how I understand it. 

John

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I guess that what you describe is really what I'm hoping will happen!  When a route has been set correctly the signals will change appropriately, but without the use of a signalman!!  The DCC system will (I hope) be operating as the signalman and I, as the driver, will be able to then move the train once I have told the signalman what route I want to use.  Well, that's the theory!!!

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Haven't had much time today, but I did manage to set up a simple red/green signal with one of the TT301 decoder boards and test it.  It worked!  I have set up a spreadsheet  which does the rather complicated calculations required in order to set up the decoder address, which is stored in CVs 9 and 1.  I then had to adjust the value of CV2 to reflect the type of signal and how I wanted it to operate - in my case I wanted the system to act as the signalman.  This means that an instruction to change the accessory to NORMAL or REVERSED has to come from the handset or, when I have them all installed and working correctly, a macro where the point will be switched first and then the signal set.

The wires on the signals are VERY fine so need handling with care.  I will need to add a little solder to the end of each wire to enable a more stable and reliable connection.  I also need to experiment with signals with route indicators and also linking the decoders together to create signalled routes before I actually install anything.

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Best of luck with your signal work John.
I have been browsing the NCE powercab manual on that subject page accessory normal/reversed regarding those new cobalt digital point motors I am thinking of trying.
Anyway you seem to have things in hand.
regards,
Derek

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It's looking very good John. I can see that you have also dealt with some of the issues I had such as access and temperature. I keep my blinds permanently down too as my room is North facing and gets full on sun shine. Nice work on the boards. All very neat. Your tidy wiring leaves me embarrassed when I think of the birds nest under my layout. Very good.

Cheers

Neil

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Many thanks for the supportive comments, guys - much appreciated.  Once I've experimented with a couple of signals and TT301 decoders above the board I think I will have to install the station platforms and ballast the track before I contemplate actually installing the signals.  It will certainly be easier ballasting without having to work around and over signal masts.

Last edited on Tue Nov 4th, 2014 12:50 pm by BromsMods

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Just to show that the signals work correctly, a couple of photos:






I have been pottering a bit this afternoon......  and I found some older locos, one of which is one of my favourite locos classes, the West Country.



I have had this loco, Swanage, for some time and it was one of the first I installed a decoder into.  Unfortunately the decoder I installed (according to my stock spreadsheet which [hopefully!!] lists everything I have, including details of decoders installed, etc.) is a ZTC.  I have tried resetting it several times, but no life.  This isn't the first of the older ZTC decoders I have had trouble with so I will replace it with a Zimo sound decoder I recently bought from Digitrains, though I had intended putting that into a new West Country I have still in its box.

I also bought some new wagon wheels recently, spoked (shown below) and solid disc.



The idea was to replace the plastic wheels on sold old stock items I recently found with the aim of improving their running and also hopefully helping to keep the track cleaner than plastic wheels do.

I rewheeled a number of Trx, Airfix and Mainline wagons this afternoon but have been stumped by Wrenn.  The first three makes listed all have plastic underframes but Wrenn have solid metal underframe castings with no flexibility whatsoever.  I have only managed to get one old axle out of the several Wrenn wagons I have.



The problem is that, not only are the underframes metal, but the wheels are fitted into what appear to be metal clips, but I can't find a way of getting the clips out or even bend them a little, as they are flush against the underframe casting.  If anyone has some bright ideas, or has tackled this issue before I would be grateful for some inspiration!!!!

Last edited on Sun Nov 9th, 2014 10:11 pm by BromsMods

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if they are like the old hornby dublo wagons you will need to take the body off first, then the wheel clips an be opened and pulled out, then you will have to do it all again in reverse,enjoy?? i had loads of fun with mine:twisted::twisted::twisted::mutley
:thumbs;-):cool:

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Thanks for the suggestion!    That was going to be my next move and, thankfully, it revealed that the problem was not going to be quite as bad as I had originally thought.  Having removed the body by undoing the single central screw it revealed that the pieces of metal retaining the axles were bent over on the top of the metal chassis (below).




Using the small flat headed screwdriver shown above it was possible to lever up one side, as shown below.



This meant that the metal plate could be moved and the axle released, though some were more difficult to extract than others because of parts of the casting below and required a pair of pliers and some brute force.  Thankfully the new axles generally went in much more easily than I had expected. The metal shims were relocated in the slots in the chassis and then bent over into position once again using a pair of large pliers. The whole job, to replace the axles on seven wagons, took less than 20 minutes!  If only everything was as straightforward!!

I have now started on making the platforms........

I also managed to come across another strip of LED lighting when I was rummaging yesterday, something I didn't know I had!  So I will add these to the underboard lighting I installed last week.  Fortunately I installed the existing LED strips allowing for expansion.

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some people have all the luck,my trucks bodies were fastened with  the same clips as the wheels pus studs to set them in
:thumbs;-):cool:

Marty
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Nice result.

Marty

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Thanks Marty!

It's almost a year ago that I was in Fremantle at the start of my epic (three month) tour of Australia and New Zealand - trouble is it seems so long ago!!

Well I 've managed to install more LED lighting under the first Oxsea board today and also started to look at suitable paving and brick papers (from Scalescenes) for the Oxsea station, the platforms for which I have managed to create over the last couple of days using 20mm x 7cm timber.  I shan't actually fix anything down until I'm happy with the way it looks.

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Fremantle's a nice spot.
Holidays never seem long enough. Always good to have some to look forward to though.  14 days off coming up over Christmas for me... always a productive time working on the railway... too darn hot to do anything else.

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:)Nice to read up on those old HD wagon models John.

Its great Owen had the knowledge to pass on how to deal with those axle clips.

Have a few of those old warriors in my stock which need some TLC.

I envy Marty and his talk of hot weather.At the moment my place is surrounded by river flood waters and its fun cycling to the local town.

Cheers,

Derek.

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Hi Derek

It has been quite wet here recently though fortunately we're not in a flood area where I live, on a hill.  Not so much fun when it's icy though!!

Slighly off topic, but I am in the process of transferring a large collection of slides into digital format and I came across a previous incarnation of Chelford!  This is something I made during the late 1970s/early 1980s - not brilliant, I know, and the photographic quality lacks that of more modern cameras, but nevertheless a little nostalgic, at least for me!!












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Well, it's 4 years since I last went to the Warley show at the NEC and then I was there as a trader.  I ventured there again today......  my goodness it was busy - just as busy as I remember it on the other side of the counter.  I would have preferred to have gone tomorrow (Sunday) as it tends to be a little quieter and less frenetic on a Sunday but family commitments precluded that.  There are certainly some superb layouts there and an inspiration which will hopefully spur me on.  It was good to see a number of children there, though I'm not sure how much they could really see.  I do have one bugbear though and that is people with backpacks - some are so huge that they have no idea how much of a hassle they are, or antisocial, to others - I was fed up by the time I left by being battered with these things.

I'm just glad I went early....  by the time I left (about 12.30) it was difficult to move in places.  I did manage to make a few purchases, so came back with 3-hole disc wheels, rail built buffer stops, lights for the buffer stops which will be used in Oxsea station, a couple of Berko starter signals for the platforms at Oxsea and some more ballast.

Last edited on Sat Nov 22nd, 2014 08:45 pm by BromsMods

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Its good to see the shows are being well supported John.
I have not been to one for many years not much by the way of shows in Ireland at least south of Dublin.
Rucksacks can be a hazard.I guess those who use them find they can carry more goodies.
I like your old railway photos plenty of action from the past.
Regards,
Derek.

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Got to agree about the old layout photos, looks like a great little layout.
cheers
Marty

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Thanks for the comments.  Of its time it was OK but nothing exceptional.  To show how old it was, though, the Western was a Trix model and the Britannia had a smoke unit in it!  I'm not sure where the Western is now, but the Britannia (which was one of my favourite locos back then) has disconnected coupling rods and I'm not sure if it is worth attempting a repair.

Back to the current layout......  whilst going through my unsold stock I came across a cup holder from New Rail Models so thought I would make use of it.  It folds up rather neatly......



and holds a cup or can quite firmly, though I suspect it might also be used for bottles (or other things!).



I have been experimenting with different types of ground surface and edging for the platforms but haven't stuck anything down yet as I'm trying to work out what looks best.

At Warley on Saturday I bought some Peco buffer stops and Train-Tech buffer stop lights........ this is something I did earlier today...



and ten minutes later after some surgery on the buffer stops........



The lights are interesting as there is no soldering necessary - they just fit between the rails.  The ballaster is a little purchase I made from Greenscene when I went to the Great Train Show a few weeks ago, but more of that when I get to the ballasting!


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This afternoon I have started adding stone edging to the platforms.  An essential tool for this I have found is the decorators tool for sealing wallpaper joins - I will also need this for the platform surfaces.

One other thing I have discovered this afternoon is an issue with some sugar-cube speakers.  One I installed recently had started to separate and the quality of sound on both of the speakers in question wasn't as good as I had hoped. I wrapped the outside edges and bottom of the speakers in blu-tack and that has both solved the separation problem and improved the sound quality.  I needed to increase the sound volume levels on both Zimo speakers by adjusting CV266 - now much more realistic!

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A couple of photos to show progress on surfacing and edging the platforms of Oxsea station.



I debated what to use to cover the central parts of the platforms and eventually decided to use tarmac for the substantial part of the actual platforms but paving slabs for the ends closest to the concourse and for the concourse itself.



I also painted the edges of the wood where the platform is split across two of the boards so that the join does not become too obvious.  When the edging paper is stuck on I leave a small piece to overlap and fold this around inside the split.

I decided that I would have to complete the platform edging (stone paper) before ballasting, as well as putting in Kadee uncouplers.

Whilst at the Warley show last Saturday I bought a couple of the Berko starter signals (one pack shown below) and these will go on the platforms, just before the sloping ends.





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Yesterday evening I managed to install and set up the first of the Berko platform starter signals in conjunction with 2 x Traintronics TT301 decoders (one for each signal head).  I programmed the decoders from the programming track before installation.  After installation the green lights came on........ but nothing else!

Today I went back to this little problem, expecting it to be user error......  and it was!!  Another senior moment yesterday meant I hadn't programmed CV1 on the two decoders.  These decoders are very easy to program, though it has to be done with a connection to the programming track.  They are even easier when you get it right!!  However, there can be some complicated maths involved (I won't bore you with what that is!) so I constructed an Excel spreadsheet to do most of the basic calculations for me.



Because it isn't possible to put the actual Signal Number into CV1  it is necessary to do calculations on the values of CVs 1 and 9 to generate the number required.  These are then fixed.  The value of CV2, however, depends on the type of signal and how many lights it has and whether it has feather(s), which is why it is blank on the spreadsheet - I fill this in by hand when I have done the required calculation manually.  Ground signal calculations are much more straightforward, hence those columns have been filled in.

One annoying thing I have come across is the fact that when the layout is switched on the signals default to green.  I want them all to default to red on power-up but the manual doesn't explain how this can be achieved.  Hopefully I will have a solution to this before too long, having contacted Traintronics by phone today to see if they can resolve this issue.

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Haven't had a lot of time over the last couple of days but have managed to complete some of the platform surfaces.  Hopefully that will be finished tomorrow.



I'm hoping that the joins will be covered up, or at least not be quite so obvious, when canopies, passengers and lighting become part of the scenery!  The surfaces from the ScaleScenes range have been printed by colour laser printer onto high quality printer paper.


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Looks good, John.  :thumbs

I like the paint damage on the wagons.

What brand of Laser do you have?  We tried a wireless Brother recently and took it back to Officeworks.

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Thanks Max.

The wagons are unmodified Bachmann - I think they were from a couple of bulk packs but if I remember correctly I was a little disappointed that the numbers on them were the same!

The laser I use is a Samsung CLP-315 - it has a very small footprint and (so far, touching wood!) has been very reliable. Consumables are quite expensive, though.

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Thanks, John.

I'll pass it on.

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One other thing about the Bachmann wagons is that they are very light.



My solution is to add some lead fishing weights I bought many years ago on one of my visits to France.  I have quite a few of varying weights and sizes.  I will probably cover them up with some large sized ballast at some time in the future when I have finished some of the more pressing tasks.

Well I've given up for the time being on getting a CV fix from Traintronics for the signal aspect problem mentioned above but I've installed the second Berko starter signal and TT301s and have a temporary solution for the problem which is to create a macro which is stored in the NCE DCC controller and run it as the first thing I do when the power is switched on. 



All the macro does is very quickly set all the signals to red (below) from the current default of green (above).



Now the surface of the platforms has been finished I will start to think about some of the scenic work which needs to be completed here - this will include the construction of some Metcalfe canopies which I bought a few weeks ago on one of my visits to Footplate in Kidderminster.  Sorry the photo below has been rearranged in the uploading process - on my computer it is vertical!



Unfortunately I only bought a couple of packs but it looks as though I am going to need quite a few more!!  I might wait to actually make the purchase until I have constructed one of the existing packs, both to see what they look like and whether there is any possibility of modifying them for what I actually want.




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John, for lightweight wagons, I use 1/16th thick lead flashing cut to the base size, scribed if needed to represent planks, glued in and painted to match the insides - once weathered, hardly noticeable but adds weight.

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Thanks Sol - I'll keep that in mind as I have a number of wagons that are going to need additional weight.

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Haven't had much time today so only managed to add the additional LED lighting under board 3, which I had intended doing a couple of weeks ago.

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Well today I thought I had better start the mammoth task of ballasting as it is going to take some time to do, so I got together the kit I required.  I started with the fold up section of the layout just inside the shed door.



Items are - Greenscene ballasting device, Greenscene Gs/412 ballast, Woodland Scenics brush-on adhesive, a pipette (cheap from Hobbycraft) for putting the adhesive on with, a paintbrush to help spread the ballast and a mist sprayer with a mixture of water with a small amount of washing up liquid.



The idea of the ballast spreader is to fill the thing with ballast then run it along the rails - there are two grooves in the base of the spreader to ensure you keep it on the rails.  It seems to work quite well and would be even better if the track hadn't been laid of foam trackbed.  The problem, as you can see above, is that the ballast falls down the sloped edges of the trackbed.



I then used the new paintbrush to clear away most of the excess ballast from the centre of the track, run the brush along the rails to remove any small pieces of ballast which might have got caught between chairs and top of the rails (which might obstruct trains running), tidy up the ballast along the edges of the trackbed (and hide the trackbed slope) and tamp down (using the brush vertically) to pack the ballast between the sleepers.



Once I was happy with the rough position of the loose ballast I used water/washing up liquied spray to give the ballast a good soaking - the washing up liquid helps the water to disperse between the pieces of ballast and thus the adhesive.  I then used the pipette to drop the adhesive on the ballast - it spread quite quickly into the ballast in the centre of the track and then out to the sides.  Had the track been direct on the baseboard that would have been it, but becuase of the trackbed slope I had to then go along each side of the track and put adhesive on the ballast packed along the sides, shown above.

Just remains to see what it looks like tomorrow!!!

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Well it doesn't look too bad.  Got rid of ballast on the sleepers, but will need to fill blank areas along the outer roadbed flanks but will do that after the ballast on the other track across the folding link boards has dried - did that track this pm.  Will also fill the area between the two tracks and level that out.  Have cut some grass mat to fill the flat grey areas but will stick that down tomorrow once the glue on the ballast edges has dried.

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Well done with the ballast John,
It can be a trying job at best.
Cheers,
Derek.

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Thanks Derek.  I knew it was going to be challenging as there is so much to do and I have been putting it off....  However, I couldn't really do much more until the ballasting has been completed.  It looks as though it will take much more ballast than I had anticipated!!

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Managed to patch up some areas of ballast which I had missed or where it had slipped down the sides of the trackbed and left bare patches.  It still needs a little bit of tidying up........



but once that is done and some weathering (both of the ballast and the rails) hopefuly it won't look too bad.

I have also experimented with some grass mat ...........



I'm rather limited with what I can do with this area across the doorway as the two boards fold back on each other, the one on the right folding over the one on the left, so I can't use anything scenic which has too much depth.  I looked at the possibility of using some Greenscene hedgerows (above) which I bought a few years ago, but I think I might have to resort to lichen to hide the join between ballast and grassmat.  As long as I have something to keep the flock of sheep I have to go into this "field" from escaping!!

Last edited on Sat Dec 13th, 2014 09:55 pm by BromsMods

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I've found a solution to the ballast problem of the lightweight Bachmann mineral wagons - I have quite a few packs of Hornby Ore Load left over which I haven't been able to get rid of.  Whilst the loads are the right width they are far too long, but they are easily cut (bit dusty, though) to fit and with a little paint and infilling in one or two places can easily be made to look like coal or anything else, come to that!  The offcuts can also be paired up to fill another wagon so there is no waste.

I also had a few packs of sheep left from retail sales, hence the flock finding its way onto the bridging section!  It's unfortunate that all the sheep are the same size and stance but I suppose in Hornbyland that's the way things are.  I'll try to find some alternative sheep which give a little variation in position and size.

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cut and shut the sheep.... head of sheep A goes on the tail of sheep B... go on... you know you want to! :lol:

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I'll give that some thought! What about headless chickens?? I know how they would feel!!

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Mmmm, Push me pull you sheep!!!

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Now that WOULD be different!

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Have spent part of this morning putting a decoder into a Hornby 2-HAL and setting up a page of instructions - see https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/hornby2haldccinstr.htm

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Having started chopping up the ore loads to fit the Bachmann mineral wagons I have a few offcuts and had been wondering what to do with them.  I have found a solution.......



I have a few North American hopper wagons that are rather lightweight so I put an offcut into each half and then filled with Black Coal (a Real Rocks Ballast I found which I had left over from Joes Trains stock I had) and glued with Woodland Scenics liquid glue.

I've also been progressing with ballasting and made a start on Oxsea station today - nowhere near finished yet as it needs some infilling and weathering........



Also found a dead section of track near the shed door end so had to sort that out today.......!!

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It's amazing what you come across when you're not looking for them and also had forgotten I had them.........





I have to admit they weren't all mine, a couple were given to me by a friend, but it brings back memories!! I was really more into buses but none of those spotting books survived.......... Living in Battersea I do remember spending long periods at Clapham Junction and also walking around Stewarts Lane and Nine Elms sheds, something that would be impossible today.

Last edited on Fri Jan 2nd, 2015 08:19 pm by BromsMods

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Father Christmas didn't forget me completely!  I was given a Humbrol workstation to use for kitbuilding and also got the Wayside Station kit from Metcalfe.



I'm hoping to purchase the accompanying Wayside Shelter and then modify the two buildings and their canopies slightly to form the station buildings for the Oxsea terminus.

Still continuing to ballast track and when I have progressed a little further will start to use the Rusty Rails painter tool and acryclic paints to give the rails some weathering.

 

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Nice to see those old ABC books John.Many a lad in the 50,s/60,s would always have one leaving the house.
Thats a handy looking rail painter as well.
Also good luck with the ballast work.
Regards,
Derek.

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Thanks Derek.  More updates in due course.

BTW Forgot to say Happy New Year to readers of this thread......

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Ballasting continues..... and suddenly remembered I hadn't cleaned off the rails after spraying a water/washing-up liquid mix!  Not surprisingly locos run a little better now!

Have also found some other types of Joes Trains Real Rocks ballast I have left over so have been using that on more open mineral wagons to give them some weight.

Thought I also ought to identify point motors and signal decoders under the boards so have started to add self adhesive computer printed labels.

Last edited on Thu Jan 15th, 2015 08:19 pm by BromsMods

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Been away for the last 10 days so no progress to report - must get up to the shed soon but not today - jet-lagged!!

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Well I spent yesterday replacing a TCS M1 decoder in the power car of a Class 158 DMU with a Zimo sound decoder. Progress was relatively straightforward. Having tested everything before reassembling the power car, I then found the lights wouldn't work when I put the body back on. Discovered that a wire had come adrift on the plug which connects the lighting in the body with the wiring on the chassis.

So far so good. Then I tackled the trailer car. I wired in the M1 decoder I had taken out of the power car, but try as I could I couldn't get the lighting to work. I'm rather bemused by the wiring used by Bachmann with just two wires going to the circuit board. I'll try to resolve this tomorrow!!

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Hi John

Just caught up with your progress.

May be a bit late now, however.......

For ballasting the shoulder, I have (in the past) painted neat pva on the shoulder, then sprinkled ballast over it. Removed the excess when dry, then ballasted the flat sections.

Paul

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Hi Paul

Thanks for the tip. I have used that method before on a flat baseboard but not on a pre-formed foam underlay. I just thought I would try a different method of ballasting on this layout!!

I can't do any more ballasting for a few weeks, so any further progress on this front will have to wait until next month.

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Having failed to get the lighting on the 158 tralier car to work I thought I'd try something which I thought (mistakenly) would be easier and quite straightforward.  I mentioned somewhere in a previous contribution that I had one of my favourite steam locos, a West Country ("Swanage") which I had DCC'ed some time ago but which wasn't now working.  I decided to replace the existing old ZTC decoder (over 10 years old - and all of those I installed at about the same time have now failed) with a Zimo sound decoder and a small sugar-cube speaker.

I managed to manoeuvre the body off with detaching the speed cable.  Unfortunately, once the body was off one of the wires connected to the tender coupler came adrift.  However, I managed to remove the existing decoder (which was hard-wired) and solder in connections from the Zimo decoder and the speaker.  I then had a go at re-soldering the detached wire - not easy as the copper connector seems to have a layer of black paint over it.  I managed to scrape away some of the paint and solder the wire to the bare part of the copper connector.  However, when I placed the loco on the track - short circuit!!  One of my soldered connections to the black pickup wire has also come adrift!!  And it's not even Friday the 13th yet!

For the moment I have given up risking anything else as my patience is wearing a little thin - so things have been left for rectification until another day!!!

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Issues with the West Country resolved today and now working correctly. Found a dodgy solder connection with the 158 trailer car but still no luck with getting the LEDs to light up!

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Still no luck with the trailer lights so have given up on that until I can find time to have another go, but that will have to be next month.  Have started the construction of the Oxsea station building........  photos to follow next month.

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"Photo's to follow next month"

John your'e a tease, looking forward to them.

Paul

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Afraid I'm not available for the next couple of weeks and haven't had time to set up the camera!

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Well you did ask for a photo, so not wishing to disappoint........



This was the state of the building before I went away....... and it hasn't changed as I have arrived back with the mother of all colds and conjunctivitis!!  So there won't be any building for the next few days.

The sections of the building have not yet been fixed together, hence the gaps.  I want to see how this building and the additional wayside building can be fitted together to make maximum use of the canopies when used in conjunction with the Metcalf Canopies I have, also awaiting construction.  Also, before fitting the roof I want to prepare the building for lighting, so this might mean some additional interior fittings when I have decided what is going where.

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Nice building John,I am glad you have survived the ballasting.
Cheers,
Derek.

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Hi Derek

Regrettably not yet!!  I have to get to the Leamington show this weekend to purchase a lot more from Greenscene so that I can move on with the ballasting - I can't do any signal location/installation until the ballast is down as the Traintronics signals will sit on top of it!  I'm also after some more of the Train-Tech buffer-stop lights to complete the trackwork at Oxsea station, but not sure who will be there selling those.

Hopefully my eyes will have cleared enough by then to enable me to drive there!!

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Well I managed to get to the Leamington Show on Sunday and pick up what I needed (as well as some other bits I didn't really need!).

The Train-Tech lamps have now been installed.......



and I have already managed to use a couple of the packs of ballast I purchased.  Don't know where it all goes!!



Will do some tidying up and paint the rails once the bulk of the ballasting has been done.

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It's amazing what limits we can push ourselves too where the hobby is involved.... now if it was work?!!!
Hope your feeling better, those buffer stop lights look very good.

cheers
Marty

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Going well John,Those buffers are a neat job as well as the ballast.It seems our hobby tends to use things in bulk if you build more than a cameo plank.I am casting my eye on different brands of budgie grit these days!.
Cheers,
Derek.

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Well, ballasting goes on unabated!!  Must get some more Woodland Scenics liquid glue tomorrow when in Kidderminster.



Whilst ballasting yesterday I decided to fit the Bachmann loco/carriage wash I had in place. God knows what the two metal plates that came with it are for - I thought they should go between the rails but they fit too tightly for that, so I have left them out completely.  Getting the precise position took some time and also some trimming of the rubber "splash guards" in order to get carriages through without fouling the thing.  I tried a number of different coaches to make sure all was well.  I have ballasted up to the edges of the "concrete" base of the model in order to mark its exact position.  Today I was successfuly able to remove the structure, leaving the ballast mould in place, and return the structure to its correct position.  I have also infilled some of the gaps a little more than shown in the photo above.  Unfortunately the carriage wash looks a little wonky in the photo but this is more to do with the angle of the camera than the actual position (I hope!!!).

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Definitely the camera angle John, looks good to me :thumbs

Ed

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Hoping so.... haven't even had any alcohol this evening!!!

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Ballasting continues.....  seems never ending and I've almost use up the 6 bags I bought recently.  I have also started to install some of the signalling where ballasting has been completed, but none of them are wired up yet.  They are all Traintronics signals and will each will be controlled by a TT301, so hopefully signals and point motors will work in tandem!! Ever the optimist!!!  Wiring them up will be fun as the wires are extremely fine, so I'm thinking of tinning the end of each wire with a little solder to make each contact on the screw terminal more positive.

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Well I've done as much ballasting as I can at the moment, having run out of said material!  So yesterday I thought I would start to program the TT301 and connect up some of the signals.  Silly thought!!  I switched on the power to the layout and...............


.......constant buzzing.  Moved some of the stock but no difference.  What's frustrating is that I have been moving stock around with the controller over the last few days and no problems.

So my task now is to find the source of the problem as I can't realistically do anything else until problem is solved.  Don't you just love electronics!!!

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It didn't take too long to find the culprit.  I removed all of the locos from the Oxsea station board then switched on the power.......     

..........silence!!

So then I re-railed the locos one at a time until I found the cause of the buzzing - a Heljan Hymek fitted with a Zimo sound decoder.  My next task will be to take it apart and try to find the cause of the problem.

Marty
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That's what I like about this hobby.... entertainment and problem solving at every turn.... who needs jigsaws! 

Ballasting is therapeutic isn't it? :lol:

cheers
Marty

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I prefer to think of ballasting as character building, Marty.  :lol:

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Marty wrote: That's what I like about this hobby.... entertainment and problem solving at every turn.... who needs jigsaws! 

Ballasting is therapeutic isn't it? :lol:

cheers
Marty

Agree about the hobby, though a bit more expensive than jigsaws!  Not sure I'm regarding the ballasting as therapeutic at the moment, though............

I lifted the middle board yesterday and as it tilted there was the sound of little grains of ballast trying to escape!! :mutley

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Spent overnight in Kent, so a long drive back today.  Feeling rather tired now so won't do anything to the layout today.  However, when I arrived home I found these waiting for me......



two sheets of Oxsea station signs produced by Stationsigns.  Very crisp signs printed on thin shiny card.  I think the small ones might be a b**ger to cut out and fix!!!

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Hi John

Try an offcut, and see if varnish will work as an adhesive, just need to see if it discolours the white.
Other wise spray mount on the rear of the sheet, or double sided tape stuck to the rear before you cut them out may work.

The layouts comming together nicely tho'.

Paul

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Thanks for the tips Paul

I might well try those.  The problem these days is holding things still!!


Regards

John

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Today I took a look at the Heljan loco with the Zimo sound decoder.  I couldn't see anything wrong inside, and was particularly baffled as it had been working perfectly.  I put it back on the track and.........  bright light in the centre of the decoder and poof... a puff of smoke.



You can just make out the burnt hole in the centre of the decoder.

So I have now turned to the signals on the centre board.........



which have been positioned and now need wiring up to the control boards.


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First two two-aspect signals shown on the left of the photo above have been wired up direct to the respective point motors rather than a DCC control board, so the signals change when the points are set right. 

Now started on those signals requiring a control board.  Power is taken from point motor bus.  However, connecting up the signal wires to the boards is extremely difficult as the wires are so thin - like hairs.  My hands are rather shaky which makes it difficult to align and keep the wires in place whilst the screws are tightened - then the screws don't grip and the wires fall out!!  I have tried putting a little solder on the ends of the wires but the solder seems quite reluctant to take on occasions, even though they have been fluxed.

Eventually managed to do a two-aspect and have now ventured on to the 3-aspect with feather shown on the right of the photo.  Red and green work OK; I don't really need the yellow LED to work (I didn't have a two-aspect with feather in stock) so might reconfigure the CV settings appropriately.  Haven't yet managed to get the feather to work.  I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!!

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Sadly I have had other priorities the last couple of days but hope to get to the layout tomorrow with a little time in the afternoon.  Did manage to attempt gluing down those pesky loose ballast chippings........

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BromsMods wrote: Now started on those signals requiring a control board.  Power is taken from point motor bus.  However, connecting up the signal wires to the boards is extremely difficult as the wires are so thin - like hairs.  My hands are rather shaky which makes it difficult to align and keep the wires in place whilst the screws are tightened - then the screws don't grip and the wires fall out!!  I have tried putting a little solder on the ends of the wires but the solder seems quite reluctant to take on occasions, even though they have been fluxed.


Had exactly the same problem with the two cheap signals I bought John, when I was trying to use a choc block connector.

Soldered some 16/0.2 hook up wire to the signal wire which solved my problem.

Might be worth a try, as a short length of hook up wire from the signal wire might fit in the board's screw connection a bit better.

Just a thought.


Ed

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Thanks Ed.  That thought had already occurred to me and I had to resort to that yesterday.  Eventually got the feather lights working (after reading the instructions again!!) and making a small jumper connection on the TT301, but they now only work with the green light and I haven't managed to separate out individual green and green/feather operation.  Back to some more experimentation later today!

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More experimentation with changing CVs, using modellers mode as well as signalmans mode (both are modes which can be set on the Traintronics TT301) but I still can't get individual lights to work on the 3-aspect signals with feather.  I even set up a test rig with signal which hadn't been installed and TT301, but no luck there either.  I'm sure it is something pretty basic which I have somehow missed but it has become very frustrating, so have given up for today.

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Apologies for the lack of updates but I have been away for a few days - been "up north"!!  Well, north of here, anyway.  Visited part of the East Midlands I have travelled through previously (when driving HGVs) but never had the opportunity to stop and take in the scenery. 

Anyway, one of the places I visited was Lincoln - if you have never been I can recommend it, especially the cathedral and the castle, the latter of which has recently had a new walkway installed around the castle walls - some really fantastic views (fortunately it was a clear sunny day when I visited).  Whilst in Lincoln I managed to find Digitrains, from whom I had bought the previously mentioned exploding sound decoder installed in the Hymek.  They were as puzzled as I was to try to explain the puff of smoke and Roman candle imitation!  The only thought was that somehow something on the main circuit board had shorted against the metal chassis, but difficult to accept this explanation when the loco hadn't moved and had previously been working correctly.  Jeremy offered to replace the decoder as part of the Zimo exchange scheme and also offered the latest sound offering from Paul Chetter for this particular loco.  He also offered to install the decoder.........



and put in plenty of insulating tape around the board to try to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again.  Many thanks Jeremy - saved me a job. The Digitrains premises are impressive - very neat and tidy with a good range of models and accessories, so well worth a visit.

Whilst in Newark I came across a model shop I hadn't heard of before - Access Models.  Quite a good selection of model railway stuff and an excellent range of paints.  I picked up some more ballast (not exactly the same colour as that already used but a similar grain size so can be pained over) and a can of matt varnish spray.

Last edited on Sun Apr 19th, 2015 10:14 pm by BromsMods

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Apologies for the lack of updates but I won't have access to the layout until the end of the month. Currently in a location with poor wifi access!

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Have managed to start experimenting with the Rusty Rails Painter now that most of the ballasting has been completed on the first two boards.



Not too bad, I think, though it hasn't been quite as easy to use as I remember as I've had some difficulty getting the paint through, it being several years since I last used this tool so I will try thinning the paint a little before going any further,

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Have continued with rusty rails painter and also experimented with a static grass applicator.  Not sure I've been using the applicator correctly as instructions are VERY sketchy.



Also added some stone walling and vegetation on the other side of the wall.

On the folding link section which goes across the door I have started to add some hedging alongside the track.  I originally thought of using the walling here but I'm limited with the height of what I can use as the hinged sections fold against each other.  The hedges are just the right height.


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Looking good John, I too am experimenting with static grass of different lengths. There must be a knack to it so I will keep on trying!! :):)

Cheers
Ron

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Thanks Ron.  I have added a little more at the sides of the track length shown above, varying the colour a little.

I have spent the afternoon adding sound to a couple of locos - all using some Loksound 3.5 decoders which I have had for some time

Class 50 "Sir Edward Elgar", which had a Lenz 1014 decoder in it
Class 108 DMU power car - old Lima model
Class 52 "Western Musketeer", a new Heljan loco which has been waiting some time for a decoder.

I also replaced an old Hornby decoder in another Class 50 with the Lenz I took out of Sir Edward!

Last edited on Sun Jun 14th, 2015 12:08 pm by BromsMods

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Perhaps I should have been a little clearer in my last post! I actually only managed to finish the two class 50 locos that afternoon.  The DMU and the Western needed additional wiring work, so took me a little longer.  They are now finished, though.

The DMU sound was actually on a Loksound Mini decoder, so I had to cut off the 6-pin plug and hard wire into the power car.  As I already had a hard wired TCS T1 decoder in it I decided not to desolder the connections on the motor and pickups but cut the existing wires and then soldered the new wires to them (using heat shrink, of course, to insulate).

The Western was a little more difficult as I wanted to use a 100ohm base reflex speaker.  This wouldn't fit on top of the circuit board in a Heljan loco so it had to go underneath.  I also didn't want to drill through the chassis so ran the wires through existing tiny gaps to the underside of the loco.

Since doing the last Western with a Loksound decoder I have since installed a Zimo MX645R sound decoder in another new Western (I collected quite a few new models when I was running the business!).  I much prefer the quality of the sound project on the Zimo as well as the fact that the momentum isn't anywhere near as delayed as on the Loksound.  When I can find a moment I will have to look at the Loksound project and see if I can reduce the length of time it takes to get the loco moving but more importantly get it to slow when I want it to, not 2 minutes later!


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This afternoon I have solved the problem I was having with the Traintronics TT301 accessory decoders when using then with anything more than 2 aspect signals.  Reading the installation and usage notes I though that I had to add a resistor between two of the terminals if 3 or 4 aspect and a link with two other terminals if using a route indicator.  Not so, apparently.  Just wire up and program using the notes for the appropriate type of signal then use the NORMAL switch to change aspect and the REVERSE switch to turn the route indicator on/off.  Simples ..............!!

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Yesterday I started to replace the decoder already installed in a Lima Class 121 which was also fitted with an Express Models lighting board.  I replaced the existing decoder with a Zimo MX640 sound decoder and the sound and motor control are fine.  However, I am having the devil of a job getting anything out of the lighting board.  The problem seems to be that the LED switching takes place on the board and not from the decoder.  You would think that companies producing products for use with DCC systems would be aware that decoders can do the switching and that, usually, common positive LEDs are used.  This isn't the only product I have come across with similar issues!! 

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Well I have given up on the lighting in the Class 121 for the time being.  I have been having a discussion with Paul Chetter about  adjusting CVs and we managed to get the lights to work in one direction but not the other.  It is either a problem with the Express Models circuit board or the output on the green wire from the decoder.  I will revisit this when I can find more time (and patience!!).

Today I have been working on trying to finish "rusting" rails on the centre board of Oxsea and also trying to get a 3 aspect Traintronics signal to work, which I did eventually.  I thought I had set up all of the CVs correctly on the TT301 board so went ahead and wired up the signal.  Couldn't work out why I was only getting the green light to work!  Eventualy I realised that I had installed a Y/G/Y signal instead of a R/Y/G one!!  Then I couldn't get the gory red wire to stay fixed in the socket with the screw, so had to solder a piece of short wire to the signal wire and put that into the screw terminal.  All very frustrating and time consuming, in addition to which it isn't easy working almost upside down!!

Tomorrow I will attempt to get a two aspect signal installed and working - should be a doddle after todays escapade - and then a more adventurous 3 aspect with feather!!


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Just returned from 2 weeks away - update to follow when I have managed to get to the shed!  Unfortunately the weeds don't stop growing whilst I'm away - I thought they would have learnt by now not to take over the vegetable patch when the owner is away!!

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Still haven't managed to get to the inside of the shed yet!  Whilst trying to complete all of the gardening tasks and other things on "the list" I noticed that the window glazing on the shed needed urgent attention, so I have had to remove all of the cracking putty and put new in place around the 4 windows.

I have, though, received the half dozen SR/BR station nameboards I ordered several weeks ago from Dart Castings (sample below)......



I bought enough nameboards to enable me to add them to both Oxsea and Chelford stations.  I had hoped the station names I had printed would fit without any modification.......  silly me!!  Another set of jobs on my railway "to do" list - removed flash from castings, assemble nameboards, paint nameboards, cut out and fit station names, fit boards to platforms.  Shouldn't take too long.........  famous last words!!

Last edited on Mon Jul 13th, 2015 05:02 pm by BromsMods

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Well disaster struck last Friday - I was moving stock around on the layout and had control of my Bachmann 2EPB when it derailed on a double slip.  The wheels on the lighter carriage became impossible to re-rail.  Closer examination revealed why.......



The inslulating plastic between the two halves of one of the axles had completely melted as well as one side of the bogie.......



and also part of the running board on the bodywork!!

The short didn't last very long, only a second or two, but the amount of power/heat which must have been generated during that short time must have been immense to do that amount of damage so quickly.

I have tried inserting another axle but there is still a short so it looks as though this carriage is now completely useless.  I will now have to look for another 2EPB as a replacement and also (probably, though I haven't taken the loco apart yet) a new 21-pin decoder.

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I haven't really had a lot of time to do very much with the layout of late as I have been away from home so much.  However, I have managed to assemble some of the station nameboards for Oxsea and these now await an undercoat of grey matt paint.  I have been pondering what is the closest SR/BR colour available for the top coat but I haven't yet found one in the Humbrol range which really matches what I need.  I might have to look at the Precision Paints range, unless anyone can come up with a suggestion.

I have also been experimenting a little further with some scenic materials.........



Not sure the materials used work that well, so will have to rethink this when I have more time.

I managed to take all of the remaining diecast and railway models I had left over from the business as a donation to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway yesterday so I hope they might be able to make somewhere over £3,000 from the items at their Toddington station.  I now only have a few (hundred!) electronic bits and pieces left to dispose of (sell!).  I also have a Zimo wireless DCC system (including 24v transformer) and ZTC511 to sell if anyone is interested!

Last edited on Fri Aug 14th, 2015 04:25 pm by BromsMods

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That's a very kind donation John, as a shareholder I thank you for your generosity, a very worthwhile cause... :lol:

As for paint colour... Even with modern paints I doubt that a consistent shade was ever achieved between tins, and then there is the effect of weather, and light. You could mix up your own and be close enough as to not know the difference.

Cheers

Marty

Last edited on Fri Aug 14th, 2015 04:30 pm by Marty

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Hi Marty

Thanks for that. I hadn't considered mixing paints but might give that some thought. What I'm really aiming for is a colour that matches as closely as possible the station signs shown in a previous post and the DCC Concepts station lamps in SR/BR green.  I'm fairly sure they aren't the same colour, but something in between would do the trick.

Marty
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I'm using Jo Soja's Acrylic paint. You used to be able to get it at hardware stores but now I can only get them at Spotlight stores here in the West.

A big range from which I choose something close to GWR dark stone and light stone for NE. Works for me.

Marty

Last edited on Sat Aug 15th, 2015 03:34 am by Marty

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Thanks Marty

I've just found this page on the internet (http://www.stationcolours.info/index.php?p=1_3_SR) which is extremely useful and provides some recommended sources of the correct colours.  Just need some time now to hunt them down!

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Wow !  That is a most useful site .  lovely old piccys.

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Indeed!  Brings back memories of the good old days!!

Haven't had time to do any modelling today - too busy trying to paint the shed and protect it from the elements (yet again!).

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Managed to find time today to undercoat the station name boards for Oxsea.

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Have spent the last hour or so trying to finish the ballasting of the upper level of the layout containing the gradient linking the top board with Chelford.

Also pottered about a bit trying to find some things I knew I had and at long last found the DCC Concepts station lamps I need for Oxsea.  Also found some station benches and other bits and pieces in a Hornby SR luggage van! I was thinking I would have to buy more but these benches just need tidying up and painting (when I have the correct paint!).

Have also decided to use a red brick goods shed instead of the stone built one shown on some of the photos, and also found a signal box which, although slightly damaged, I have now mainly repaired and need to line it in the correct shade of green.

I also found a couple of packs of Hornby bicycles and was disappointed to find that in one of the packs both bikes had been damaged, the handlebars having broken off.  Managed to repair those as well - very grateful for superglue!! Used pliers to manipulate the small parts, not wishing to get my fingers stuck together for ever!!

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I have Been creosoting all day,your fault John.:roll:

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Do I smell a cover-up here?

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:mutley:mutley:mutley

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Apologies for the lack of updates but I haven't done any modelling for the last 4 weeks as I have been abroad.  Hopefully something constructive to add in a few days.

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I have just put a couple of new Hornby Duchess locos (1 with sound) and a NSE 4VP Train Pack onto eBay - been having a sort out and found these, which don't really fit in with what I'm modelling and, in any case, I just don't have room for them any more!

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Sort outs are always therapeutic... or so SWMBO tells me :It's a no no

Marty

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Mmmmm....... not so sure about being therapeutic!  SWMBO has given up on getting me to throw things away (I think/hope!!) :lol:

Trouble is I have so much stuff to go through that I'm not sure I'll ever have enough time to go through it all whilst I'm still breathing!!!

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Haven't had much time to do any modelling in the last week but did manage yesterday evening to lay some grass matting on the other half of the bridging section across the shed doorway.  Will have to check later on today that it has remained flat and also add some shrubbery along the edges to conceal the join between ballast edge and grass mat.

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Shrubbery added alongside edge of ballast yesterday so today folded up the bridging section and - hey presto everything stayed in placed - amazed!!

However, today I also tried to have a little tidy up of one or two things, which included moving the last board to go into place, the engine shed and turntable board for Chelford, and as I slid it into place ......... bu**er ....... I had some time ago put an additional piece of thick plastic to provide additional support for the gradient section linking Chelford to Oxsea and thought I had put it sufficiently far back to allow the board to go in but apparently not.  It isn't very much, less than half an inch, but I now have to choose between trying to take out the superglued piece of plastic or cut a small section out of the shed board.

Decisions, decisions............

At least the Heljan turntable still works..............!!

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Whilst rummaging through the countless locos I still have unused and boxed I found a few more steam locos (Duchess, a couple of Britannias and a 4MT) which have just found their way onto eBay.

Last edited on Sun Sep 27th, 2015 05:36 pm by BromsMods

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Well today I have managed to fit the turntable/shed board into place.  Fortunately I hadn't superglued the piece of supporting foamboard in place but only lightly glued it and I managed to slide it along just far enough to get the board into place without upsetting the support it provided.

I also turned my attention to how I was going to link the turntable board into the Chelford board and as a result have taken out what always appeared to be an unnecessary section of track and two points, enabling me to make some slightly gentler curves where Chelford meets the gradient section to Oxsea.  It has also enabled me to make some changes to the planned route onto the turntable board and make an extra siding for the station pilot.

What I will have to do before I can finally leave the turntable board in place is to motorise all of the points at that end of the Chelford board and complete trackwork wiring otherwise I won't be able to get underneath!!

Whilst testing the trackwork links on the gradient between Chelford and Oxsea I came across a short circuit created when a loco crosses one particular set of points, so this will need investigation and rectification when I can find some more time, hopefully tomorrow, but it won't be easy as I need to lift one of two sets of points and insert an IRJ - with both sets of points already seated and point motors working!!

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Hi John

Probably a daft question, but can't you just cut a gap in the appropriate rail(s) with the points in situ?

Ed

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Hi Ed

Thanks for that.  It had crossed my mind to do that but I have found that the foamboard is rather flexible, and that combined with the changes in temperature in the shed (it doesn't freeze in there as I have a thermostatically controlled heater) from very cold to well over 30 degrees when it is sunny (it was over 32 degres when I went in there yesterday afternoon), might risk the rails being out of alignment.  So I really need to keep them aligned with an IRJ.

I'm hoping the task won't be too difficult as the track isn't ballasted yet but it is one rail between two adjoining points and I just fear lifting one of them will result in having to play around with re-aligning the Traintronics point motor.

More to follow......!!

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Fingers crossed, best of luck :thumbs


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IRJ inserted - wasn't too difficult, just a bit fiddly getting the set of points I removed aligned with the pin on the point motor.

However, problem still exists.  Got multimeter out and the problem seems to be with the set of electrofrog points so later this afternoon I will have to bite the bullet and remove this set of points (which are much more difficult to get out than the set I removed this morning) and investigate further, but the shed is getting too warm at the moment!!

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Electrofrog points removed and found the wiring for the frog switching via the point motor.  God know what I was thinking about when I wired this up but the two track wires weren't where they were supposed to be on the track.  So desoldered them and soldered to the correct positions. Problem not solved!!

Switched the two track feed wires for frog switching on the Traintronics point motor.  Problem not solved.

Switched the two track feed wires back and checked that the two short connecting links under the Peco point were cut.  Problem not solved.

So not sure now what is causing the problem.  The only reason I can come up with is that the frog switching of the point motor isn't working correctly/at all.

Next option is to disconnect frog switching wires and re-establish the under point links and do away with frog switching.  Unfortunately I don't have another point motor I could experiment with, nor do I have the time or will left to do that!!

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The gremlins are working overtime today!  I went back to the layout, switched it on and thought I would give the frog switching one more go.............

.........silly me, I thought.......... but it worked!!  I couldn't believe it!!

At the weekend I ordered 4 pieces of Shinohara converter track from Scalelink.  This arrived very promptly today and will be used to link my standard code 100 track to the track on the Heljan turntable.



Thought I would also post a photo of the turntable board in place.



Ignore the mess underneath!!  But it gives some idea of the gradients to both upper and lower levels.

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Haven't had time to do any modelling this week as I have been in Brighton visiting my oldest surviving relative who is now 99 but sadly doesn't have a clue who I am or what day of the week it is.  I just hope I never reach that state.......

However, I have had time today to visit the Great Electric Train Show at the Heritage Motor Museum in Gaydon and managed to pick up a few things I need.........



Goodies include some paint from Phoenix Precision Paints so that I can paint station nameboards and other things, more ballast and vegetation from Greenscene, some figures and signs from P & D Marsh and Noch, a Team Digital SMD84 for controlling point motors on the Chelford board and a couple of the new point motors (PM10) from Gaugemaster to try out.

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Haven't had a lot of time to do much over the last few days, but I have managed to create the station nameboards for Oxsea....



but unfortunately  the camera has created some relfections!

I have also repainted a Hornby signal box to create a BR Sr green version for Oxsea.  I did take a photo of before I started painting to show before and after  but stupidly deleted the photo from my camera thinking I had already downloaded it!!  Yet another sign of age I'm afraid!!



Must do something about the broken finnial on top of the box........!


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Life really does get difficult when you've retired - there just isn't enough time to do everything....... so modelling has taken somewhat of a back seat over recent weeks and looking at my diary it doesn't look as though the situation will improve over the next 4-6 weeks!

However, whilst waiting for a computer to do some Windows updates yesterday I did manage to complete a little task I investigated several months ago.  I came across a number of Base Toys large Cable Drums which were left over from my model retailing days and I thought these could be used as some wagon flat loads.  I decided that I should add some weight to the drums... problem was I couldn't separate the outer edge from the drum on some of them, so that meant I couldn't use the lead weights I had originally intended using.

Then I came across .........



some Real Rocks Ballast from Joes Trains, which I had left over from a smaller layout created several years ago, and in conjunction with some scenic cement used for ballasting I decided I could use this on the drums I could open.



By filling the drums almost half full with the ballast and then adding the cement this should provide sufficient weight to stabilise the drums and help to prevent them rolling.

The completely sealed drums required a similar solution.  Handily the ballast bottle comes with a tapered nozzle so it was possible, with care, to get the ballast into the centre of the drum through the centre hole.  Using a dropper I then managed to squeeze the liquid cement through the centre hole, hopefully adding sufficient to prevent any ballast loss.

The intention is to use the drums thus.......



but I just need to create some cradles for the drums to fit onto to prevent them moving.

Also yesterday I visited Footplate in Kidderminster again - the shop seems to have more stock ranges every time I visit!  Sadly Derek wasn't in the shop as he was unwell, but I still managed to find most of what I wanted without too much hassle - came away with some Code 60 track and insulators for creating the third rail on much of the layout, some more ballast glue and a couple of brake vans.

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John Bromsmod said;-

"Handily the ballast bottle comes with a tapered nozzle so it was possible, with care, to get the ballast into the centre of the drum through the centre hole."

TIP:-
Tapered nozzles also come in handy when ballasting track and the most readily available seem to be those provided with tubes of silicone or other sealer. Slice a bit off the end at an angle, fill with ballast, seal the big end with some insulating tape and you've got a nice little ballast spreader - point it where you want it and just tap the pointy end for as much or little as you need, which is handy for getting in those awkward little places.....

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Hi Mike

That's a useful tip and something I hadn't thought of.  I've been using a ballast spreader I bought from Greenscene at a show a couple of years ago.  It works very well on straightforward track, but I have used foam underlay and this has a fairly steep gradient along the edge so I have to go back along and add some more ballast to fill the missing patches.

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Hi John

All my track is on raised foam underlay - either Gaugemaster or DCC Concepts - and I came up with this nozzle thingy for the same reason you give, ie ballast falling off the shoulder.

I put masking tape along the baseboard about 1/16th inch from the bottom edge of the foam; paint neat pva onto the shoulder (about 12" at a time) then gently sprinkle ballast on the glue; to make sure it sticks, I go along the new ballast and press it flat into the foam with a small piece of stout card; then, before it dries I gently pull up the tape and use another piece of card to neaten up the edge by pushing any stray grains back into line.  Once this has set (usually about 24hours) I then ballast the edges between rail and the now firm ballast shoulder with my nozzle, same again between the sleepers brushing stray ballast off and; using a 10ml pipette, flood it with 70/30 water pva with a bit of meths in the mix.  Probably needn't tell you but for info of others - tape over the tie bar before ballasting - sleeper before to sleeper beyond covering all the slot - which prevents ballast going down through the baseboard. Makes for a neat job with hardly any cleaning up to do after.....

In true Blue Peter style - here's some I did earlier;-



Takes a little longer than the ballast spreaders but far less faffing about to do afterwards.....

Last edited on Wed Oct 28th, 2015 07:53 pm by 16A

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That's a beautiful bit of track laying and ballasting John :):)

Cheers
Ron

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Thanks Ron

That's what I was into - making my own track - when Doctor banned me from inhaling soldering fumes as it's bad for my health, I now have to do it outside in the fresh air fully masked and protected - I look like something from Star Wars just to dab a bit of solder but it causes great amusement amongst my neighbours...

and, sorry John, didn't mean to hijack your thread, I'll go away now.....

Last edited on Thu Oct 29th, 2015 12:24 pm by 16A

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Hi Mike - I don't mind being hijacked when it's by someone who shows how it should really be done.  I wish my trackwork looked as good as that.  I just don't think I've got the patience you obviously have to produce such exquisite modelling technique.

I see, though, that you've gone from inhaling soldering fumes to meths!!

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Afraid I haven't had time to do very much to the layout over the last couple of weeks but I'm hoping things will be less manic over the next week or so and that I can make some more progress.

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Managed to get to Warley exhibition today and unfortunately took my plastic card!!  I think it might have melted a little during the day!  Bought a replacement 2EPB for the one burnt out (above) though this one is blue r
ather than green (so will probably swap the bodies over), a sound decoder for a Merchant Navy loco, some suspended station lights (from Kytes Lights) for use under the canopies (when built!), several packs of station figures and a sheet of 2mm polystyrene board for use with one of the display panels (thought I really ought to start on these!).

Just need to get to the shed now!

Last edited on Mon Nov 30th, 2015 02:11 am by BromsMods

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Well I didn't make it to the shed today but I did manage to do a couple of things - I painted the shades of the suspended lights I bought yesterday in BR green, started to prepare for assembly of one of the Metcalfe station canopies by separating all of the parts and also managed to (almost) complete the installation of a Zimo sound decoder into a new Heljan blue Western (just need to solder in the capacitor).  I doubt that I'll have much time tomorrow to move any further with the latter tasks - on grandparent duties!!

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I have now managed to complete the sound decoder installation in not just one but two Westerns:



I have also been working on the Metcalfe station canopy and just tested it for size:



The first one isn't yet complete - I need to add the roof glazing panels, which are ready to go on, together with the roof capping and guttering but I can't complete that until I have added the adjacent unit.  It also appears that, with two long platforms, I'm going to need a large number of these canopy structures which is going to be quite expensive!!  I also need to work out how I am going to join these on to the canopy for the main station building, most of which has been completed.

Last edited on Thu Dec 3rd, 2015 09:11 pm by BromsMods

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I haven't got any photographs yet but I haven't been sitting idly by the last few days - I have been adding sections to the station canopy shown above and adding a little more to the station building.

I bought some more canopies at Footplate in Kidderminster yesterday and hope to get going on those tomorrow!

16A
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Don't you find it an incovenience John, having to go out to buy things for your model railway when at one time you could just walk into your shop for it?

The station is coming along nicely - at a true life time scale....

Last edited on Fri Dec 11th, 2015 12:00 pm by 16A

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Ah Mike, if only that were true!  I only ever stocked a selected range of products so never had everything I would need for my own railway.  But I have got a lot of stuff I collected whilst in business!!  Problem is finding somewhere to put it all!!!

And yes, the station seems to be taking for ever to finish (a bit like the new Bromsgrove station which is being built with completion having been put back from November to March because the bridge they are having built was the wrong size - I will post some photos of that development in another thread when I can find some time) but other things get in the way - yesterday I spent the whole day trying to find a solution to a problem with the email package on my wife's computer which suddenly stopped working - having upgraded the machine to Windows 10 a few weeks ago the software had been working fine now it won't load.  What's really frustrating is that the software works fine on my computer!!!

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Windows 10??????... MMMmmm... Jury's still out for me on the free upgrade... I'm fully conversant and happy with W7 which seems to do everything I want... have read some iffy forum type press on W10 with MS wanting to compel you to have things, or not, as the case may be... for example I understand with W10 you now only get mandatory automatic updates and no longer have a choice with regard to selecting 'critical' or 'advisory' updates, being amongst several things I'm not 100% happy with. I understand some of the reasoning MS is moving to a 'service platform' and that this will be the last of the many new Windows programs with support gradually being removed for previous versions, but I'm not totally happy at being told what to do, what I can have and what I can't - freedom of choice seemingly evapourated.

My Sister-in-law recently purchased a new set up moving from XP to W10 and it was mind boggling - we spent 4 very frustrating hours experimenting with what we could find, which at the end of the day was not very much... so a very steep learning curve is required and it wasn't helpful that as soon as we connected to the 'net she picked up a potentially unwanted program (pup)... heaven knows where that came from.

I wonder just what MS have hidden or built into their new platform which reports information back to HQ and how it might affect ones privacy or identity... and I ask you... what intelligent adult would choose to install 'Candy Crush Saga' it beggars belief... but suppose I'll get round to upgrading eventually as there's not much time left on the 1 year free offer and, if I don't do it, I'll eventually have to buy it or move to a Mac!!! don't get me started on the Apple business model pleeeease.....

Time, as they say, will tell.....

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Hi John

I must start by declaring an interest, because I do design and sell model canopies and components for building canopies. Obviously Metcalfe make their kits to hit a price point that I just can't achieve, but I am struck by how far out of scale the valancing is to their platforms. Each plank looks to be about 18 inches wide. I presume it is to reduce the amount of laser cutting to keep the price down.

I have a similar end valance available for about five pounds fifty per pair. If they were adjusted to suit the dimensions of a Metcalfe kit, do you think there would be any market for them as a substitute component? I'm still waiting for 3d printing technology pricing to drop to a point where it becomes mainstream. It will happen, but maybe not for a few years yet. In the meantime I just keep adding to my library of bits and pieces.

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Hi Peter

Have taken a peek at your layout thread and you product range and have to say I'm mightily impressed.  I would have preferred a single support for each canopy rather than the double provided in the Metcalfe model but I couldn't find one suitable.  Sadly I hadn't looked at your site but in all honesty I don't think I could have afforded everything I would have wanted from your range.  I like the fact that you can add individual parts to the structure in order to build it up as you want.

I agree that the planks seem overscale but I'm not sure why they couldn't have printed them the right size.  I'm guessing that there would be a market for true-to-scale scale boards but they would have to be economically priced and an exact fit between the support beams in order to attract a large enough market for you.

I'm very tempted by 3D printing - having been at the cutting edge of a number of things during my lifetime this is the latest thing that really grabs me as having real potential but, as you say, the cost of a quality setup at the moment is certainly out of my price range and, in any case, I'm not really sure that at my time of life I have the time, money or commitment to invest in what would be a substantial outlay.


Mike

When I did the Windows 10 upgrades on the 2 main computers I currently have in use I disabled options to send Microsoft data on various things, saying NO to each of the items it offered as being desirable (not sure for whom, though!).  I agree that in some ways the automatic options seem to be a bit of a pain but to be honest I have been grateful for them being done and not having to go through the hassle of selecting/checking which updates I want/need.  You can still see updates that have been done and this morning I have removed one of the updates done on my wife's machine on Wednesday and have now managed to get the email software to work, running the software as Administrator.

I've had more of a hassle setting up network printers - each computer has a different printer connected, one black/white and one colour.  Getting each computer to see the printer on the other has been a nightmare.  I thought it would have been very straightforward having set up a Homegroup and got each computer joined to it but no, I had to go out from the Homegroup and link them using a different strategy.  At least it now works!

Having been involved with computing for almost 40 years now I have always treated system upgrades with trepidation.  I did delay upgarding to Windows 10 as long as I could but decided to bite the bullet hoping all of the bugs would have been ironed out by now and (touch wood!) most things have so far been trouble free. (I know, it's fatal saying that.......!!!)



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Work has been continuing on the layout, if at a pedestrian pace!  I don't have much to show you at the moment, but I have been working on both station canopies and the main station building, adding bits and pieces as time has allowed.  I'm getting to the stage where I am positioning wall lights and thinking about how internal lighting will be located, using DCC Concepts lighting control boards.  I will use two control boards inside the main building, one for controlling the external lights and one for the internal LED lighting.



Today I used a few minutes to finish off the station flower beds.  The flowerbeds themselves were purchased from Ten Commandments, I think, and a few weeks ago I painted the soil, thus........




The completed flowerbeds, using products I purchased from Gaugemaster and Greenscene look like this.........






I have had great difficulty geting the photos to load into the Photo Gallery!!  Firefox would get as far as letting me select the photos to upload, then hung, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Opera all failed to get as far as showing the upload window telling me that function was not available in the software.  Eventually I managed to use Internet Explorer to upload the photos but then it wouldn't let me place them!  Finally I went back to Firefox which then allowed me to place the photos as they were then saved in the Photo Gallery.  Not sure quite what is going on here.......!!!






Last edited on Sat Jan 2nd, 2016 02:03 pm by BromsMods

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Apologies for the lack of updates but there hasn't really been much to update on during the last 3 weeks.  During the first two I spent most of the time trying to convert hundreds of historic negatives, which my wife found, going back to the early 80s, into digital pictures.  In general a successful operation but very time consuming.

I did manage to set up a test of the external lighting on the Oxsea station building with the DCC Concepts lighting control boards and these seemed to work well using an external 9v power supply.  Once all of the external and internal lights are in place I might need to increase the supply to 12v but I'm using an adjustable supply so that shouldn't be an issue.

The third week (last week) we spent most of it in Bristol.  Weather was cold but clear and the views were spectacular,  as were the markets on Wednesday.  Whilst walking around the edge of the shopping centre came across Antics - I have been there before but I thought they had ceased trading as a group.  Anyway, managed to pick up a couple of little things to use in the not too distant future.


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No photos yet, I'm afraid, but I have spent small sporadic amounts of time over the last week in trying to get the Oxsea station buildings nearer to completion.

I'm having difficulty in getting the canopies of the two Metcalfe building kits to merge together to form a single structure, but I'll get there sometime this week.  Also need to complete LED and lamp installation and wiring before I can put them in place on the station.  Also working on platform canopies and these will also be completed this week, I hope!!

I have also been in discussion with DCC Concepts about their Cobalt Alpha system to see whether there is any way of using some of their components to simplify wiring to the three mimic panels I will eventually have.  Not looking too promising at the moment, but more on this as time progresses.

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Try Photobucket John, it's easy to use and all you need to do is copy the image URL and paste it here.

Phil

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Hi Phil

I've been quite happy using the image facilities within YMRC until the reported problems above, but the last photo loaded without any issues, so I think I'll stick with what I know - when it works it is really simple!  I have never used Photobucket and I don't really have the time (or, I suppose, the desire!) to learn something new, unless I'm really forced to!!

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Apologies for the lack of updates.  There isn't really much to report as I have been tied up with other things, such as trying to get the garden sorted out before my wife and I start our numerous trecks this year.

I have managed to finish constructing the station benches from Metcalfe.  These were a nightmare for large fingers; I also tried various glues to make construction less of a sticky enterprise but, alas, nothing prevented me coming to a sticky end!!  The parts are so small and fiddly and the piece they provide for enabling the parts to be assembled don't hold the frames sufficiently tightly, so they move around whilst trying to stick the seats and backrests.

I have also managed to give the seat frames a coat of paint and given some of the Oxsea station fencing a coat, but this didn't cover very well, so I'll try to find time next week to go over that again.

Station canopies on the two buildings are now, I hope, aligned and ready to put in place but before doing that I need to finish preparing the wiring for the building and station canopy lights.

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Hi John

Good to hear you're still up and running...

I've just put together a load of Metcalfe buildings and used 'Roket' card glue... which made assembly a good deal quicker as I wasn't waiting for glue to dry or set... it's great stuff and gives an almost instant bond... bit like superglue for card and paper.....

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Thanks for the tip Mike.

I was trying to make use of the glues I had, though.  Superglue with a fine nozzle would have been good if it hadn't soaked into the card so quickly and I really wanted to use that.  Trouble was I got a little worried about having a bench permanently stuck to my fingers!!  I did try tweezers but they weren't too successful either - hands too shaky it seems for anything involving fine detailing!

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BromsMods wrote: Thanks for the tip Mike.

Superglue with a fine nozzle would have been good

Sounds like Roket is just the job then... it acts like superglue - but not 'til you press bits together - and the bottle comes with an extremely fine three inch long nozzle... you just snip off the end if it gets blocked up... the glue is very runny, milky white colour a bit like dilute PVA and you only need the smallest amount in use.

I won't be using other glues for card and paper anytime soon... not now I've found this stuff.....

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One of the things I have been thinking about with Battenham is how to keep track (!!!) of what is in the fiddle yard.  I decided that a couple of small cameras, one located at each end, would be a good idea and on Friday I took delivery of (what I considered to be) a cheap little Zmodo ZH-IXY1D camera.  Today I set it up.

Well, it took a little longer than I had anticipated as I had an issue with the wifi speed my phone was using (you need a phone to set up the wifi connection on the camera).  The phone was using 5Ghz but the camera can only use the 2.4Ghz wireless connection.  eventually I got it sorted............



The camera can be seen to the left of the laptop, attached to its fixing bracket which will be attached to the underside of the Oxsea end board.  I wanted to set the camera up and test it in the house before venturing up to the shed.

Having proved it all worked correctly I then took laptop and camera to the shed.  I intend having a laptop in the shed permanently at some future point in time so this gave me an opportunity to check that the wireless connection worked as well.  The camera seems to work OK under the Oxsea board and it switches to "night time vision" as light there is limited. I think I might enhance the LED lighting I have under the board as this will undoubtedly improve what I can see but I think the experiment has been a success and I will probably invest in another Zmodo in the near future.

Last edited on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 07:56 pm by BromsMods

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Today I have spent some time installing the wiring and a switch for the Oxsea station lighting.  I have also tidied up the wiring and fixed a multiway in position to allow the camera and lighting to work off its sockets.

I have also painted some of the insulators for the 3rd rail - I decided I had to install the third rails in the station area before I finally fixed the station buildings in place to have prepared some of the insulators in order to find out how easy (or difficult!) the process is going to be.

I received some OO scale station self adhesive advertisements from Trackside Signs for my recent birthday and have placed some of these on the station buildings - it's amazing what a difference they make, making the somewhat bland buildings far more realistic.

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Well, having painted the fixings for the 3rd rail I wish I hadn't!  The easiest part of installing the 3rd rail has been drilling the holes.  The fixings to the Code 60 rail are extremely tight and the paint just gets in the way.  The parts are also extremely small and I had to use an investment I made a few years ago, a large illuminated magnifying glass, in order to feed the parts onto the rail.




It was much easier without the paint on pristine parts and I also think they look better in white!  It is going to be a painstaking job to complete the installation of the rest of the 3rd rails on a large layout..........  think I'll tackle it in small stints!

Last edited on Thu Apr 14th, 2016 10:04 pm by BromsMods

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I have now installed most of the conductor rails in Oxsea station and they do add to the realism of this fictitous location, I think.





I need to do a bit more research on the actual colouration of the conductor rails but as I have said above I am not a fan of following the Peco instructions to paint the fixings before installation. 



The left hand side of the furthest track shows some of the parts painted  before installation.......... 

Installing the conductor rails is a time consuming task but having done a few now my strategy for installation is a little different to the Peco recommended procedure.

First, I measure out the length of rail which is going to be required.  Then I drill the holes in the sleepers, drilling every fourth sleeper.

Next I take the sprue containing the plastic parts..........



and cut away some of the excess (the left and right sides on the photo above).  This allows better access to the very small parts.



Then I make a release the top of each chair from the sprues by making a cut each side of the chair (which holds the rail and is a very fine moulding) but do not cut it completely from the sprue - it is easier to keep the parts still attached and have something more substantial to hold whilst trying to push the rail through the very tiny gap in the chair.

This is where I use the magnifying glass to feed the track into one chair at a time..........



Once the track is correctly inserted I then cut the whole chair assembly from the sprue and slide it along the rail.

When the correct number of parts has been assembled onto the rail for the section being installed I then position the conductor rail onto the layout and align the pins on the chair assemblies with the holes in the sleepers. Once everything is in the correct position I remove the rail, turn it upside down and try to place the baseplate discs onto the upturned pin of the chair.  This can be very frustrating as the baseplates are very small and light and can flick anywhere very quickly!  I use a pair of tweezers to lift each one and I have improved my manipulative skills no end whilst carrying out this task, even with my shaky hands!

Once all of the baseplates have been put into place I drop a spot of liquid glue on the end of the pin to try to secure the baseplate in position.  I then lift the rail into its approximate position, initially on its side whilst I align pins with holes and then turn it vertically to push the pins into the holes.  It takes some care to carry this out successfully as the white plastic on the pins bends very easily.

I have most of the layout still to do but I will complete the Oxsea part of the layout first before moving on to install conductor rails on the Chelford boards.

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Over the last couple of days I have installed six DCC Concepts station lamps across the two Oxsea platforms, wired them to the DCC Concepts control board for lamps/LEDs and powered them from a separate regulated adjustable power supply.  Now I need to tackle the lighing in the station buildings!

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Apologies for the lack of updates but until today there has been nothing to report on as I have been abroad for the last 4 weeks.

Today, though, I have been installing more 3rd rails, this time on the folding boards across the shed doorway.  So far I have managed to complete both tracks on one of the folding boards.  I have modified my technique a little from that described above by first cutting off all of the parts from the sprues then holding each insulator in a pair of pliers and inserting the track.  This seems a much quicker process.  I have also improved the technique for placing the baseplates by just licking my index finger then placing that on a baseplate, which then sticks to my finger, then place it over the protruding pin of the insulator and, when in position, spot a small drop of glue on the assembly.  I find that the finger is more precise than holding the baseplate in pliers as I can get the finger right over the protruding pin with more accuracy and less shake!

Doubt that I will have time tomorrow to progress further, but hopefully next week will see this 3rd rail task completed across the shed doorway boards.

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Yesterday I managed to finish installing 3rd rails across all of the tracks on the folding section across the shed door, installed a Traintronics red/green signal and programmed the TT301 control board and also patched up some of the loose ballast which had moved when I lifted a couple of the layout boards.  Didn't enjoy wiring up the signal and control board as I had to do some soldering under the layout - not very keen on working upside down!!

Not sure what my next task will be - probably finishing the station lighting for Oxsea - but I have some gardening to do before that before we get any rain!

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BromsMods wrote: Yesterday I managed to finish installing 3rd rails across all of the tracks on the folding section across the shed door, installed a Traintronics red/green signal and programmed the TT301 control board and also patched up some of the loose ballast which had moved when I lifted a couple of the layout boards. 

Is that all :mutley

Making me feel guilty John, I seem to be getting nowhere fast.

Sounds like you've got a lot further with your 3rd rail than I've got with OLE.

Any pictures of how far you've got with the 3rd rail?


Ed

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Hi Ed

I'll try and take some pictures next week - I also experimented the other day with painting a little of the 3rd rail with some weathered black paint.  Not sure if it works or not, but I can always paint over it later if I can find a better colour.  I often find 3rd rails have a lot of grease (at least it looks like grease) along the edges.  I also want to paint the 3rd rails on the folding boards across the doorway before I take any photos (but I also need to tidy up the boards a bit as they have all sorts of rubbish over them as well!).

Haven't managed to get to the layout yet today - did some gardening this morning and think I overdid it a little whilst trying to remove a conifer plant with some very deep roots.

I think my next task on the layout will probably be to install a couple of ground signals I bought many years ago, produced by a company called Tramway Systems (Electronics) and hook them up to TT301 control boards.

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Yup, from memory the 3rd rail always looked greasy on my trips on the underground or Southern from Putney in the 60s.

Good luck with the ground signals.



Ed




 

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I tested the ground signals yesterday with the TT301 before I contemplated installation - one of them worked correctly (though the light produced was very dim on both red and white) and the other I could only get the red light to work.  I might have to ditch them and just use some others that I bought, but these I have to construct first.

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Back to the 3rd rail installation and to some photos I promised. First is the track across one of the boards in the shed doorway.



Next is some of the pointwork on the first Oxsea station board I have installed 3rd rails -



And last a view of some of the station trackwork -



You will probably notice that the right-hand track has no 3rd rail as this is primarily intended for goods traffic.  You might also spot that the station canopy top corner is upside down - wholly intentional!!  I'm still working on the canopy lighting!!


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Looks good John:thumbs, but now I feel even more guilty.

Must be really fiddly and all I'm trying to do is stick a few wires on some posts :oops:


Ed

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Very neat, John.  :cool:

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Hi John Very nice track work, I like 3rd rail idea very impressive

Best of Luck

Dave D.

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Thanks for your comments guys - and yes, it is fiddly, which is why I can only spend short amounts of time doing it!!

Today I have finished wiring up one of the Eckon ground signal kits I have put together, linking it to the TT301 for DCC control.  Assembling the kit is also a fiddly task.  The first kit I unpacked had a damaged central light bar;  I also lost one of the LEDs into the jar of liquid flux I was using!!  I just put the tail ends of the LEDs into the flux before soldering and the led just dropped out of the assembly into the bottle and I haven't managed to get it out again!  So I wrote that kit off - good job it was only a fiver when I bought it.  Assembling the little light bars into the 2-part signal shell is quite difficult when hands are shaky - you have to keep the light bars in position whilst gluing the back of the signal head into position.

Well the result is shown in the photo below:-



The three LEDs for the signal (2 x white and 1 x red) come preassembled (but not stuck, as I found out above!) and one leg of each LED is covered in blue heatshrink.  I soldered these three legs together and then attached a piece of blue wire, this being attached to the GND terminal on the TT301. The coloured LED (I discovered that I had a mixture of red and yellow LEDs in the kits I bought, not having realised (or forgotten(!)) that they were available in both flavours) I attached a red wire to and this is attached to the red terminal on the TT301.  The outer white LED was then attached to the green output of the TT301.  The three output terminals are shown at the top of the TT301 in the photo above.  Although resistors are provided in the Eckon kits they are not required from the TT301 outputs as the device has the required resistors in its circuitry.

The top white light is a different matter, though, as this is on permanently, so a resistor was soldered to the leg of the central LED and then a piece of yellow wire.  The yellow wire is then attached to the yellow power feed into the TT301, shown at the bottom of the photograph.

Just to prove that it works, the photo below shows the signal with the yellow LED activated.



I next have to disassemble the wiring to the TT301 and cut a slot in the baseboard for each signal.


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Aha!  Electronic wizardry!

Now you really have my attention, John.

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Hopefully more to follow, Max. One of the things I'm waiting for to see if it will simplify things for me is the new DCC Concepts Mimic Panel.

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Yesterday I had another thought about the disappearing LED from the first kit I tried, and also the yellow LEDs in the other kits.  I really want red LEDs in my ground signals, so I have replaced the yellow and missing LEDs with some 3mm red LEDs I found and these seem to work quite well.

I'm now running out of TT301 boards but I'm going to Bournemouth this week so will call in at Bournemouth Model Centre to pick up a few more.

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I managed to get to BMC last week and pick up 10 x TT301s but haven't had time to do anything with them, and won't for a couple of weeks.  Sadly Derek at BMC isn't in the best of health at the moment, with some mobility problems.

I have managed to put some Preiser passengers in position on a couple of the Oxsea platforms but with the weather the way it has been this week have only managed to get to the shed for one short modelling stint since Saturday.

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I have been away in France for the last 3 weeks, hence the lack of updates.

Since getting back I have been pondering the Metcalfe station canopies I have already built and I'm not really happy with them.  I think the canopy roof should be elongated so that the apex is parallel to the platform - the ones I have already built have the apex going side to side and the roof supports are too close to the platform edges.  So I'm now on the lookout for some good quality station canopies and some suggestions as to what might fit the bill...........

I have also sketched out a schematic track plan of Chelford........



and I have also been trying to decide on the track layout for the turntable board at the far end of the garden shed.  I think I have decided on the location for the turntable and this gives me a direct input to it from Chelford, as shown above, as well as a link to the shed roads.  However, I have run out of small right hand points so I can't finish this until next week (hopefully!).

I have also managed to fit the bufferstops and some bufferstop lights (though not yet wired up) to the three sidings at the left hand end of the Chelford diagram.

One other thing I have spent some time on is trying to get Cobalt and Tortoise point motors running from a DCC Concepts AD4 which I have had for some time and used for testing slow motion point motors when I ran the business.  However, although power goes into each of the 4 AD4 inputs I can't get any outputs to the motors so I need to investigate this further.

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Good to hear some progress is being made John. A nice neat schematic there. Are those point numbers! Do you actually have that many on your layout?
cheersMarty

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Marty wrote:  Are those point numbers! Do you actually have that many on your layout?
cheers Marty

Marty, my layout has  88 turnouts.

And yes John, a nice neat track plan.

Marty
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ummm... yes, but you have an empire in your shed Sol...:lol:

Mind you, I've just counted and I've got 18... surprising how they accumulate!
Marty 

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Hi Marty

No, I don't have that many yet!!  The trackwork on the right hand side is fairly complex and links with both the left hand sides of the Oxsea and Battenham boards.  When I was at the computer I couldn't remember where I had finished numbering previously so I decided to start numbering the points on the Chelford board from a new point (no pun untended!) - however, there are nearly 60 points across the Oxsea and Battenham boards and I haven't even started on the loco shed board with the turntable!

I have been looking around at station canopies again and have found one which might fit the bill from Ratio.  Has anyone got any experience with building these kits? I assume they are plastic.

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Too hot to get into the shed today - well over 30 degrees C!!  It feels like an oven in there and I can't leave the door open as the sun just streams onto the layout and I don't want any more sun related modifications to anything!

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No way I'll get into the shed today - 38 degrees C and rising!  The greenhouse, with door and all roof vents open is currently 46 degrees C.

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Sun dried tomatoes then John?

Marty

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They would be if I had any!!  Fortunately the greenhouse is empty - we are away so much at the moment it wasn't worth planting anything this year.

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Apologies for the lack of updates but we have been touring soggy Scotland for the last 3 weeks. Hopefully I might manage to get to the shed sometime later this week but have a couple of funerals to attend first............

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Unfortunately I haven't managed to get to the shed for any length of time this week.  Did manage to unbox an Eckon yard lamp kit but found that it didn't offer the option of lamp heads as implied in the photo on the box. Sod's Law operated and the kit I actually bought didn't have the lamp head I wanted, so it will be back to Footplate in Kidderminster when I can next find the time.

Won't be able to do anything now for a few weeks.

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Sorry for the lack of any progress report, but returned from France last Saturday and just haven't had any time this week to even get into the shed (apart from getting some implements to do some urgently needed gardening!!). 

I have, though, been waiting for DCC Comcepts to get back to me about their Mimic Panel, which I want to try out soon but sadly no response.

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Less than a week after I returned from France I flew out to the US, where I have been for the last four weeks.  Now I'm back I hope to get to the model railway very soon.

Sadly I didn't get much time to photograph many railways, but did manage to go on the Mount Washington Cog Railway......



and yes, this is the gradient!!







At the base station it was just above freezing when we left, at the top it was much colder with winds gusting 40-70 mph!  Couldn't use the binoculars supplied even though it was one of the clearest days they have had up there this year.



Also managed to go on the Conway Scenic Railway for a relatively short journey.....



Two of our transits (Washington - New York and New York - Boston) were made using Amtrak.  Trains were generally OK but the stations were chaotic with platform departures only being announced shortly before departure. Shan't complain about UK rail services any more!!




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Managed to deal with a couple of locos today.

I replaced a TCS decoder in a Class 33 with a Zimo sound decoder putting the sound box underneath the loco.  This took a bit of time getting the 8ohm soundbox to fit as I had to gently grind away parts of the interior of the removable under chassis box. Clipped off one of the four lugs which holds the underbody part to the chassis and used the hole to feed wires from the soundbox up inside the loco to the decoder wires.

I also tackled the "redesigned" bogie on a green Bachmann 2EPB following the short circuit it suffered some time ago. I first took the body off the power car (not an easy task) to get at the 21-pin decoder which I thought had been blown.  However, I put the decoder in an ESU decoder tester, reset it and all now seems well so I put it back into the motor carriage and replaced the body.  I then examined more closely the end of the trailer car which was the part which really suffered from the excess current.  On close inspection I thought I could get away with the minor damage to the running board, which could easily be explained away as wear and tear!  The bogie, however, needed replacing.  Last year I bought a blue EPB with the intention of swapping bodies.  As this wasn't necessary I just swapped over the "power" bogies from the trailer cars.  So I now have an almost usable blue EPB as well as the existing green model.  I just need to get hold of a "power" bogie for the trailer car, if I can track one down..........

I also looked at a West Country loco, for which I have a sound decoder all ready and waiting, but couldn't release the nut holding the speed cable in place.  Does anyone know where I can get hold of the tool Hornby once made for dealing with this problem on their live steam locos, or know of another source of a suitable tool?

Last edited on Wed Nov 2nd, 2016 07:24 pm by BromsMods

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try peters spares,he has most things hornby
:thumbs ;-) :cool:
Owen

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Thanks Owen - I might give them a ring in the morning.  Had a quick look at the Hornby site but nothing there.  I also asked Derek at Footplate some time ago about this but he couldn't remember ever coming across one of these.  I did have a discussion with a Hornby rep many years ago at the annual Toy Fair at the Excel Centre about them making this tool generally available but I was obviously hoping for too much!!

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Well I've had a sussessful morning!!  I contacted Bachmann spares and they have a bogie assembly for the EPB, Peters Spares have a tool for undoing the nut on the Merchant Navy speed cable (78032 Hex Head Nut / Bolt Spinner for Hornby screws but it isn't a Hornby part) and I have also been to Footplate in Kidderminster and managed to swap the Ratio station canopy I bought for a Metcalfe one (which matches some I already have).

I might tackle one or two of the many locos which are disassembled on my workbench this afternoon.

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nice one John, hope you can crack on
:thumbs ;-) :cool:
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 Now that IS a successful day!
Always nice to be able to get back into the hobby after an extended period of LIFE!

Cheers

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So true Marty.

And I was really impressed with Peters Spares as the tool arrived next day (yesterday) and it works a treat!

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Didn't have time to add this Saturday, but this is the tool supplied by Peters Spares, produced by Expo.....



Once I had released the nut and detached the speed cable I then put the nut back into the wheel and secured it, otherwise I had visions of the nut getting lost amongst to million other things lying around, or disappearing onto the floor!



The next task is to find some (any!) space for the sugar-cube speaker - the sound decoder itself fits neatly into the boiler cavity.  I'm always reluctant to do any modifications to the loco itself if that can be avoided but in this case it might just be necessary.

I received the power bogie for the 2EPB trailer from Bachmann today........



a doddle to change over.  I now need to see if I have a spare 21-pin decoder for the power car!

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TCS 21-pin decoder tracked down.  Body as difficult as ever to remove, then...........  imagine my surprise when I discovered a Loksound sound decoder already installed!!

Last edited on Mon Nov 7th, 2016 11:52 pm by BromsMods

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  imagine my surprise when I discovered a Zimo sound decoder already installed!!
yes but a very pleasant one too,I bet
:thumbs ;-) :cool:
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Indeed!  Actually found some paperwork inside the box, which I hadn't come across previously, which shows it is a Loksound decoder.

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DCC Concepts Cobalt Alpha Mimic Panel has just arrived.



The pack contains a mimic control board, a link cable to connect mimic panel boards together......



..... and in this pack there are also 24 red/green LEDs, though it can be supplied with either green or red LEDs instead, each of which comes pre-wired and just plugs into the plug-in sockets around the edge of the board.

Time to read the manual........

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  Good Luck   





:mutley


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Well instructions for operation of the Mimic are quite straightforward!  I thought I would just set it up and test it just to make sure I understood exactly what was going on.  I also wanted to know how to change the number of the first two outputs as these automatically set up the accessory numbers of the other outputs (as the outputs are in pairs you actually have just 12 accessory decoder indicators, one for left track and one for right track). 

Having connected up the board to the track/accessory bus I switched on and the display showed 0001 and the LEDs illuminated.  After a few moments the 0001 disappeared - this is correct!!  For me, the LEDs seemed rather bright, but there doesn't seem to be any way of reducing the brightness as this is controlled by onboard resistors.



Unfortunately the flash from the camera has taken away the brightness mentioned above.

I then followed the instructions to change the number of the first output pair.  This worked well.  However, there is an error on the labelling of components on the board.  The two illuminated switches, one each side of the digital display, should be labelled ACC-SEL (on the left) and ACC-CNF (on the right) as these are the terms used in the instructions but as you can see on the photo both switches have the same labelling. Hopefully users will recognise the error and be able to set up the board as required.

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Haven't had a lot of time to get to anything this week, but did manage to connect a sugar cube speaker to the Zimo sound decoder for the West Country (above) and it tested well in the loco.  I haven't finally decided on the position of the speaker but I have removed the screw thread which projects above the chassis but below where the decoder sicket was located.  Although the sound is OK when I have just the loco running, when I try to connect the tender I get a short - so another problem to solve!!

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Well the short was down to user error - I'll say no more!!  "Padstow" is now complete, though finding enough space inside for the speaker and decoder was quite a challenge.  A much simpler installation was installing sound in "Blandford Forum", an unrebuilt West Country, where there was much more space for both speaker and decoder. More of a challenge was getting the speed cable re-attached!

I also found the body of a Bachmann Pannier tank I've had sitting on my workbench for some time, so put that back on to the chassis with a TCS DP2X-UK decoder and it runs like a dream.

I also thought I would tackle installing a hard-wired decoder into a Mainline Warship loco.  So I installed a Zimo MX63 decoder.  This wasn't straightforward as the wires to the pickups on the trailing bogie had come adrift but I managed to re-solder them without too much difficulty.  Removed old wiring to the motor and the existing lights and installed 1.8mm golden white LEDs with resistors.  Attached orange and grey wires to the motor and tested.........  nothing!  After some research with a multimeter it became clear that the pickups are working fine but there is no output from the decoder at the motor terminals or to the lights.  So this will be an ongoing problem to investigate further when time allows.........

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I have spent several hours over the last few days trying to solve a problem with a Lima Class 121, Zimo sound decoder and Express Models lighting kit.  I started to work on this several months ago but having been away for most of the year (or so it seems!) this task has been put well down the list of things to be done.  However, I came across a thread in another forum about an Express Models kit and Zimo decoder and this re-ignited my desire to get this problem solved.

The problem is that the lighting kit states that a 4-function decoder is required (which the Zimo is) but the lighting board only has 3 inputs - white, green and brown/purple (there is also the blue common).  The yellow wire from the decoder is not connected to anything.  The LEDs are bi-directional but it isn't clear whether the change in direction should be controlled by the board or the decoder. 

I had an email discussion with Paul Chetter about this some time ago and he came up with a couple of suggestions, neither of which work successfully.  I have, though, managed to get the lights working in one direction using F key 6 but getting the other direction to work is driving me mad!!

So today I gave this up and went and installed some third rails on the middle Oxsea board!!!

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Hi John

I'm hesitant to speak up as you are very experienced and this sounds (even now), like too simple an answer.  The yellow wire by NMRA rules, is the rear light.  So you have white for headlight and yellow for the rear light.

Would you not just connect the white to the headlight and the yellow to the rear (with ballast resistors, of course)?

The blue is the (+) common and the green is usually Aux 1 and the brown/purple could be Aux 2.

Cheers

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Hi Max

Many thanks for that.  That would normally be my instant reaction to setting up lights. However, instructions with the lighting kit state connect coloured wires from the lighting board to the corresponding wires on the decoder.  I think the situation is complicated by the fact they use bi-directional LEDs and there are some added complexities on the board itself.  The fact that green and purple wires are provided on the board suggests using F keys for directional control, a situation complicated by the fact that this is a sound decoder and most of the F keys are already allocated!

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What does the lighting board actually do, John?

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Apart from providing resistors for the LEDs it links together the decoder inputs to the bi-directional LEDs, which seem to have cross-links on the board.  I'll try and provide a photo when I can find a moment.

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As expected, the last few weeks haven't left much time to do anything with model railways.  However, I have at last managed today to take some photos.

The first is of the lighting board supplied with the Express Models kit.


Haven't had the time to get to the board to experiment any more, but I have had time to order some more bits and pieces for the mimic boards I am going to create.

I discovered some flat magnets with re-writable surfaces, ideal for the Battenham panel as this will display the area underneath the Oxsea boards.


The individual magnet panels are too big for what I want so I can get three smaller panels out of each sheet for what I want.



I decided to try creating some laser printed labels and sticking them to the three strips I had cut, but I actually think it will be quicker and more precise by putting the label onto the magnet first and then cutting the magnet.  Each label will contain a brief description of the loco and its DCC number - these are aligned to the right so that the re-writable area of the magnetic strip on the left can be used to add details of stock attached, if required, using a felt-tipped pen.

I managed to get an A3 metallic board.......



onto which I will attach an A3 copy of the Battenham schematic diagram......



Unfortunately I can't actually use this one as my son, who copied and laminated the diagram, unfortunately didn't scale the image I gave him to fit the page so some important elements of the diagram have been cut off!!

However, the photo below shows how the diagram will be used with the magnetic strips.



The DCC Concepts Mimic Panel lights will be positioned to show point settings and I have some yellow pre-wired LEDs which will be used to show track occupancy.

Finally, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all who have taken the time and effort to read thus far!!

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Just in case you were wondering, I haven't been sitting idly by during the festive season!  I have had to reposition a number of signals on the central Oxsea board, which has taken some time with the fiddly wiring involved, but also been working on the ground inside the carriage wash and continued working on the mimic panels, in particular working on some of the preparatory wiring from the block detectors.

Father Christmas was a little sparing on goodies this year, but did manage to bring....



to help with completing the Oxsea station buildings, as well as some tractors (as wagon loads) and a set of yard lamps.

Once the mimic diagrams for Oxsea and Battenham had been redone I decided to work on the Oxsea panel first.  Whilst this wasn't the one I really wanted to complete first but I thought it made sense to work on the easiest material, the Oxsea panel being made of foam board.  The Battenham mimic display will be supported on metal (as shown in a previous post above) and this will be much harder to get right with the drilling required.

Current state of play on the panel.....



but the back looks much more of a challenge!




Last edited on Tue Jan 10th, 2017 09:49 pm by BromsMods

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Yesterday I started looking at connecting up the numerous wires (above) to the DCC Concepts Mimic Panels.  Having been recommended the Y connectors by Richard Johnson at DCC Concepts to wire together crossover points, where switches have the same numeric value, I had purchased two packs of these.

However, when I came to connect everything up I discovered that the Y connectors are NOT COMPATIBLE with the Mimic Panel, the Y connectors having 3-pin sockets/plugs whilst the Mimic Panel uses 2-pin sockets/plugs!

This means I will now have to cut and solder wires, something I really didn't want to have to do, seeing the pre-prepared connectors as a real time saver.

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Have to say that I'm very disappointed in DCC Concepts, having sent Richard Johnson an email about the incompatibility but have still to receive a response.  Rather poor, I think.

I eventually connected up all of the LEDs to the Mimic Panels, having constructed a frame for the display panel and a box to mount it on.  I did this in the garage where there is more space (well, a little more!) and could connect the MPs up to the power output from my PowerCab which is used for testing purposes. I decided to test each connection after I had identified it at the back of the panel.  This proved to be vital as I found that one output on one of the MPs didn't work and two LEDs failed, one with a disconnected wire and the other just did not want to work.  It also took me some time to connect up the three Y connections, having had to solder wires and insulate with heatshrink sleeving.

Today I managed to mount the whole lot onto the wall in the shed and connect up to the PowerPro power output to the layout.  I have not yet managed to wire up the block display LEDs but tested the point LEDs with point switching.  Although I followed the alignment shown in the MP manual and labelling on the MPs, when it comes to switching the points the display doesn't always match, so I will have to spend some time swapping over R and L connections on the MP outputs for the offending connections.  One thing I haven't quite got my head around is getting the correct display on the double slips, but I'll ponder that over the next few days.

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BromsMods wrote: Have to say that I'm very disappointed in DCC Concepts, having sent Richard Johnson an email about the incompatibility but have still to receive a response.  Rather poor, I think.
Nothing new there.  Even when I telephone them, I get short shrift.

Their first response is to deny that there is a problem.  Second response?  Blame the customer.

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MaxSouthOz wrote: BromsMods wrote: Have to say that I'm very disappointed in DCC Concepts, having sent Richard Johnson an email about the incompatibility but have still to receive a response.  Rather poor, I think.
Nothing new there.  Even when I telephone them, I get short shrift.

Their first response is to deny that there is a problem.  Second response?  Blame the customer.

Hi Max

What makes it worse is that we were the main outlet for DCC Concepts products here in the UK for many years.  Mind you, he is not alone - I emailed NCE about 10 days ago and still haven't received any acknowledgement!

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Well the Oxsea mimic panel is now up and running...........



It has certainly taken longer than I had hoped to get this one finished but I have to say that it is much quicker looking at the panel than trying to find the points and check which way they are set!

I do have an issue with the double slips, though, and having given it considerable thought have come to the conclusion that the DCC Concepts Mimic Panel LEDs (or indeed any other LED solution) will not work successfully on a point arrangement that has 4 possible combinations but only uses 2 point motors/accessory decoders.

However, I think I have come up with an acceptable solution which certainly works for me.  I have set the LEDs to display green for horizontal and diagonal routes.............



so in the photo above switches 50 and 51 show a clear route from left to right.  If the two red LEDs become green then the diagonal route through the double slip is clear.

The solution to show the route to the adjacent line is, perhaps, a little more contentious.......

with the clear route being shown by the red LEDs. The photo above shows the route from 51 to 50 right is the route that has been set, whilst this photo.....



shows the route leading from point 61 to point 49 has been set.

It does take a little time to get your head around this but it does work.  I'm just thankful, though, that the hidden Battenham section doesn't have any double slips!!  I will start work on that tomorrow, all being well.



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Very neat, John.  :thumbs

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Lost me John, bottom picture looks like route 54 to 48 is set :hmm



Ed

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Ed wrote: Lost me John, bottom picture looks like route 54 to 48 is set :hmm



Ed


Hi Ed

I did say it took some time to get your head around this - through the double slips the only green routes set will be straight, i.e. left-right or diagonal.  You have to remember that each outlet of a double slip has two possible positions so in the ideal world each outlet would have its own two LEDs. This would mean 8 LEDs in total which would then mean you could correctly show routes set using the green output.  However, you would then need 4 accessory decoders to control each output.  Peco double slips operate using only two point motors, so there are only two addresses which can be used and therefore just 4 LEDs, two for each point motor. 

If you want a train to travel from point 61 to point 49, think about the position of each point blade in the double slip and if you follow the green route shown in the bottom photo this would result in a derailment.

I did try to explain this in more detail but gave up as I think it became more confusing!!

If it would help I could try to do a video to explain.........

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I suppose the neatest solution would have been to split the outputs from the DCC Concepts Mimic Panel board to allow each leg of the double slip to have 2 LEDs - this would have allowed the diagram to accurately show the position of each point blade.  However, whilst the DCC Concepts LEDs which come with the panels have an attractive appearance they are rather impractical for complex diagrams such as Oxsea as the facias are too large and I could not have fitted them in the space available.  Straightforward red/green LEDs, however, might have been a better option on reflection.  I was really just after a quick solution which required the minimum of soldering........

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Think what is throwing me is, if picture one shows the horizontal route and in picture two point no 50 hasn't moved, it must show the route from point 61 to point 49.

Therefore when it has moved in picture three, it must be set towards point 48.


Ed

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Ed wrote: Think what is throwing me is, if picture one shows the horizontal route and in picture two point no 50 hasn't moved, it must show the route from point 61 to point 49.

Therefore when it has moved in picture three, it must be set towards point 48.


Ed


But you need to think which position the point blades are at on each exit. Perhaps if I can find time I will try to do a brief video!

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Don't worry John, I always think of a double slip as two points toe to toe which is why I can't figure out the route in picture three as point 50s blades appeared to have moved, yet in picture one they indicate the horizontal route, point 54 to point 49.

As long as it works for you, it doesn't matter.


Ed

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Yesterday I received a new signal from Train-Tech which I had ordered before Christmas. Having read the manual, though, the Theatre Signal they have produced will only display a single character or number, not what a Theatre signal is really designed to do, so it is going back tomorrow and I have asked them to make sure that the product specification is a little clearer about what the signal can actually do.

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Currently working on the mimic display for Battenham.  Much more difficult using a metal base for mounting everything on and taking longer.

Having had an issue with the Train-Tech signal I'm now investigating the use of Absolute Aspects signals with route displays.  Anyone have experience of these? They look good and will allow me to change the indicator display, but they are rather expensive!  Still, I suppose you get what you pay for (I hope!!).

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LEDs have now been installed on the Battenham board and point indicator LEDs have been connected up to the DCC Concepts mimic control boards.

Looks like a lot of spaghetti........



The case for the mimic display has been mounted and wired up......



I have now got as far as marrying the two together and have managed to get all of the point indicator lights to work correctly.

Now struggling with the block indicators ...........

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Looks like you are having fun John.
The satisfaction of having it work eventually is worth the effort.


cheers

Marty

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Not sure I'd call it fun, Marty - more of a challenge!

However, the panel is now up and running...........



One of the most time consuming tasks was making sure the point LEDs were correctly displaying the point setting.  Although I had linked the LEDs to the "correct" left/right outputs on the DCC Mimic Control boards these didn't always match up with the accessory decoder outputs so a little tweaking was necessary.  I'm glad the magnetic strips work and I discovered that I could just cut them with scissors rather than having to use a stanley knife which saved a lot of time.

Just a couple of transpotter photos......






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My time with the layout over the last couple of days or so has been spent trying to overcome issues caused by the foamboard gradually moving apart/bending on the lower Battenham part of the layout.  This has required tracks to be realigned and levelled.  I don't think I would use foamboard again as it doesn't seem to have the strength required to cope with any weight put on top of it by a number of locos and/or buildings, especially the resin type. 

Thankfully the Chelford section is all of wooden construction and I hope to get to this in the not too distant future. I have also been dealing with the gradient section joining Chelford and Oxsea, realigning/levelling trackwork across the board join, ballasting and starting to install some signals, though the main one I have on order from Absolute Aspects is apparently going to be some time.

One other task I have undertaken is to replace the plastic wheelsets on some Mainline Mk1 coaches with metal ones.  The improvement in performance is amazing.  I still have some wagons to do and hope to get to these in the next few days, having purchased some appropriate Bachmann wheelsets from Footplate in Kidderminster yesterday.

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Apologies for the lack of updates but I have been away for the last week or so visiting old(er) relatives around the south of England.

Before I went away I wrestled with replacing a Traintronics point motor on the gradient joining the Chelford board to Oxsea.  The point motor suddenly gave up and it is in such an awkward position - isn't that just Sods Law??.  I didn't have any spare Traintronics motors to replace it with, so I used a Cobalt IP instead.  Although a different shape it was still very difficult to get it in place and stay there - there is so little space caused by the supporting baseboard assembly that it isn't possible to get a screwdriver underneath but fortunately I had a spare Cobalt Accessory pack with some sticky pads so I eventually managed to get the motor lined up, stuck in place and then wedged in with a spare piece of foamboard.  I just hope it hasn't moved whilst I have been away!!

I have also installed some 2-aspect Traintronics signals on the gradient section, linked to the Traintronics point motors so the signals change when the points do.

In addition I have built and painted a Peco inspection pit which is going into the Oxsea engine shed - I now need to cut a hole in the board for it to sit in, not an easy task as access is rather restricted leaning across the Oxsea board into the corner.

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Work continues (not apace, however) on the Oxsea shed board - inspection pit has been installed as well as a refuelling point and I am now working on adding 3rd rails on the main lines which cross this board.  Hope to finish ballasting remaining sidings when I have managed to install some DCC Concepts buffer stops but access to some of the board is rather difficult. Also need to produce level "concrete" surfaces inside the shed - was thinking of purchasing some plasticard sheets to simplify this task.

Have added two more signals but need to connect them up to Traintronics TT301s when I can lift the board, having finished work on the topside first.  Then need to paint the rails on the incline with Rusty Rails painter tool (when I can find what I have done with it!!).

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The rusty rails painter tool will be in "that" safe place. If you find it could send me back my camper trailer solar blanket adapter plug which is also in "that" safe place :lol:.
Marty

Last edited on Fri Apr 7th, 2017 02:50 am by Marty

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Marty wrote: The rusty rails painter tool will be in "that" safe place. If you find it could send me back my camper trailer solar blanket adapter plug which is also in "that" safe place :lol:.
Marty

Not sure I've got a safe place that is that large!!  Actually, I'm not sure I've got ANY safe places!!

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Apologies for the lack of updates but I have been abroad for the last 3 weeks.  I will try to provide some photos of where I have got to when I have sorted out mail (paper and electronic), bills and other (unfortunately) more urgent matters!!

I have received the signal I ordered from Absolute Aspects but haven't even had time to open the packet yet!

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I have managed to take a couple of quick photos of the contents of the signal package.......



The signal consists of a 2 aspect with 2 feathers and a route indicator board.  It will be located on the main line at the entrance to the Oxsea board so will be able to show which platform has been allocated on the route indicator, or if the train is not going into the station, which of the two sidings it will be sent to.

I am hoping that the signal will be controlled via the SC1 accessory decoder (below) which I also purchased...



This is a quite complex setup and I have been in contact with Paul Harman at Signalist to enlist his help in working out the correct CV values to achieve the intended use of the signal.  Paul has been very helpful - I just need to find the time to put his settings into practice.

I also purchased a couple of ground signals from Absolute Aspects which will be used in the station at Oxsea.

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I'll certainly be following along.  :cool:

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Yesterday I managed to locate the Rusty Rails painter tool so painted the rails on the connecting board between Chelford and Oxsea.

I have also been trying to program the SC1 accessory decoder to get the new signal which arrived from Absolute Aspects (above) to work as I want.  However, I am having great difficulty as every time I connect everything to the programming track on either the PowerPro or the PowerCab systems I get "Cannot read CV".  I have tried adding a load of LED lights, Rrampmeter and ESU Programmer but still can't get rid of the message.  What is odd is that I have tried programming individual CVs blind and some work and some don't (apparently!).  I have managed to get as far as being able to show that individual lights do work on the signal.......



Now I need to find an appropriate "load" so that the programming track will work properly.

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I returned from two weeks in France last Sunday but since my return it has been far too hot to get into the shed for any work to be carried out (near 40 degrees some days!), so today has been the first day I have dared venture inside for any length of time.

I started work on the Oxsea goods shed which is a Hornby Skaledale model. A wall lamp has been installed on the end wall of the office but I had to make a large hole in the base of the office in order to be able to access the wiring as the office itself was completely sealed from the outside world.

I have also returned the SC1 to Signalist to have the firmware updated as it would seem I have an older version which won't carry out the instructions to operate the Absolute Aspects signal shown above.

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Hi John.   Excellent work, I have been faffing around so long , thinking up different plans, getting no where fast, very "prototypical ". But seeing the wreck of your " 2 EPB" and considering that I use NCE Powercab, I haven't got any circuit breakers, protection or WHY.. I would be devastated if that happened to my 2EPB, or any  item of stock.Thank you I have learned something from your misfortune . All the best. Kevin

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Congratulations on picture of the week John, any pictures of the Goods Shed.


Ed

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Hi John.  Being new to, and ignorant of the benefits of 21st Century technology, does it do " what it says on the tin"?? I have written on this forum at some length on what I have seen on YouTube videos( as I am uncertain I have not tried any of the equipment myself). I have seen model layouts with a.  "terminus Platform and converging points, where both starter signals are showing a Green Aspect at the same time". Crash waiting to happen? And signals that change back to clear as the train is passing.    All the best.  Kevin
PS looking forward to more photos. And a video?

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Hi Ed and Passed Driver

Many thanks for your comments.  PD, I would always recommend using some form of circuit protection regardless which DCC control system you are using and would always recommend the DCC Specialties PSX range.  Might be a little more expensive than some others available but worth the extra cost when you consider damage to the command station could be terminal!

I should also add that I am using a 5amp NCE PowerPro system with a 5amp Booster, the output from each being split across 2 x PSX1 circuit breakers.  I also have a couple of NCE EB3 circuit breakers somewhere!!

I will try to add a few more photos as I progress - I always find it is a fine balance between getting on with things in the short time spans I spend in the shed and stopping to take photographs!  Yesterday I spent some time creating the loading deck inside the goods shed.  I need to add some internal lights (these will just be 3mm Golden White LEDs) and hide the wiring along the join between wall and ceiling before feeding the wires into the hole in the end wall leading to the office.  I then need to paint all of the internal walls in a dark colour before finally fixing the goods shed in place.  Then I can lift the board to complete the wiring on the underside.

Last edited on Sun Jun 25th, 2017 03:58 pm by BromsMods

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Following the request for some photos I have taken a couple of quick snaps today just to show what I have been up to - not very exciting I'm afraid.

Layest state of play with the goods shed (I still need to install a couple of LEDs inside the shed itself and have drilled a couple of holes through the loading bay to run the wires underneath the loading bay, into the office and then through the floor of the office to the power supply).......



Oxsea loco shed.......



and while I had the tin of paint out I put a base coat on the Chelford engine shed board.......



and started to paint the Chelford board, though there is so much stuff on it I'll have to do this a bit at a time!!


Last edited on Wed Jun 28th, 2017 07:44 pm by BromsMods

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Looking good John :thumbs


Ed

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Too hot to do anything much in the shed today - over 36oC.  So have finished off painting some Polyfilla I put on yesterday near the goods shed steps, and cut a piece of timber for the yard loading bay at the left hand end of the shed where a crane I built many years ago will end up.

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Hi John.   Could you Insulate your shed from the Sun? Or have a fan? When I'm doing a bit of soldering I set up my bench (unfinished baseboard ) and I sit between the fan and the open window.    All the best. Kevin

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Hi John,

I'm impressed with the use of the white foam board. I must revisit this. I was in Michaels (a craft store chain) yesterday looking at the 0.5" thick white foam board and thinking this would be great for modules...except one thing I noted a few years ago is that hot glue gun and white foam board don't like each other - the glue sticks to the white chalky coating, not the board, and fails after about 6 months. Hopefully foam board in the UK is made of sterner stuff than over here.

Now to go the whole hog, they had some balsa of the right size for reinforcing the joints...

Nigel

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Hi Kevin

I did try to reply to you yesterday but then clicked on the wrong thing and lost it all!  So here goes again.

The shed is quite well insulated, I think, with rockwool insulation between the inner plasterboard skin and outer wooden boards all the way round, in the door and in the roof.  There is carpet on the floor.  One of the problems yesterday was that the dehumidifier was blowing out warm air, which didn't help the situation.  When the sun is out I can't leave the door open during much of the day as the sun would then beat down on much of the Oxsea station area and the storage area underneath.  Same with the windows, which is why there are blinds.  Only one of the windows would open but it is fitted with a lock and a pain to get at.  I do have a highly technical solution (called string!) when the sun moves around and this allows me to open the door and adjust the opening width ac-cord-ingly!!  I actually went back up to the shed later in the day when the sun had moved round but the temperature then was 38oC!  I could then leave the door wide open, though, and the temperature soon dropped.

Hi Nigel

Thanks for the comments.  However, as I am sure I have said previously, I don't think I would recommend foamboard for a layout based on my experience so far.  It is easy to work but doesn't have the strength required if a large amount of weight is put on it and it does eventually bow.  I haven't had any issues with the hot glue, though, and this seems to have held the joints quite well, even after a couple of years - we did put quite a bit on, though!

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Hi John . Thank you for your reply. I haven't got a shed, as I stand in the corner wearing my Dunce Cap. :nice :bump  I don't know if you have had anything to do with the Hornby Pug? Or if you read "Model Rail", but I purchased off eBay six of them , or at least they all have the same 0-4-0 chassis. And George Dent has written an article in the August issue, on converting them to DCC, head and tail lamps too, which looks easier that the Hornby Terrier Job? But that is the Hornby 0-4-0 Diesel Shunter, which seems to have more space in the cab.
All the best. Kevin

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Well I'm still wresting with operating the Absolute Aspects signal!  Paul at Signalist has been very helpful and has upgraded the SC1 to the latest firmware but I still can't get the signal to operate completely as I want.  I can operate individual aspects of the feathersand route indicator board but once they have been illuminated I can't turn them off. I have asked Paul for further guidance on operating the custom defined user table and am awaiting his response.

I have also been in contact with NCE about how to operate such a signal and it looks as though I might have to use a mini-panel in order to use the extended accessory packets required, but more on this when I'm a little clearer about what this involves.

I have also completed the wiring of the goods shed and goods yard lights, painted the roadway and started to add some scenic effects around the yard.

I'm also doing an online genealogy course at the moment which has taken away some modelling time!!

Last edited on Fri Jul 21st, 2017 02:49 pm by BromsMods

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Hi John.     I don't know how the "Route Indicators are fed" but , some really simple ideas work well. When I use to make my own signals nearly fifty years ago now, my signal operation was crude but it worked. Manual signals with a red and a green, the "Route Indicator either three or five holes fed from the Green Power supply, via the Hammant and Morgan point Motors . Which meant the route indicators would only get power when there was a Green Aspect and the points were set to diverge from the mainline.    All the best.  Kevin

Marty
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Sounds like you have your hands full John.
You might need a mini computer Andrino/Strawberry Pi to run your signal. I've not used one yet but I read that they can useful in such circumstances.

Marty

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Well I spent a couple of unproductive days last week trying to get this gory signal to work properly.  I even wired up a Mini Panel with two different types of switches attached but couldn't get either to do anything with the signal.  I have even had email correspondence with Jim at NCE and he says that the mini-panel should work the signal correctly, having the ability to send the extended accessory packets required.

So I have given up temporarily whilst I have been concentrating on doing some more scenic work, this time adding some fencing around the roadway at Oxsea station and around the goods yard.  I also need to add a street lamp in the station yard and to add some vehicles.  I also made a couple of signs today using small laser printed labels for the bus stop and a taxi parking space.

I have also added a Bachmann low relief dairy, though this has been more difficult than I thought and had to re-route the diary siding. I have also started to make up some metal security fencing I purchased (and sold) some time ago from BLMA in the US.  Offcuts from the plastic posts supplied served as the posts for the bus stop and taxi signs.

I need to add some static grass now before I can position vehicles, lamp post and signs.  I was given a pack of vehicles with working lights by DCC Concepts when we were the main retailer for their products so I thought I might use one of those in the station car park.

I should add that I came across a series of really useful YouTube videos the other day produced by Kathy Millatt, an ex customer of ours many years ago.  They cover a wide range of railway modelling topics and contain some helpful tips, even if the commentary is a little long in places!

Last edited on Mon Aug 7th, 2017 08:40 pm by BromsMods

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Thought I would add a few photos, just to prove that I haven't been completely idle over the last couple of weeks!!

First, I have just completed fittings for the inside of the Oxsea signal box...........



The problem now is to get that into the signal box!  The cut-out at the rear is to allow for the wiring to the light in the signal box, which I have already fitted.



Fitting the interior could be interesting as the Hornby moulding of the signal box interior is not regular!

I have also been working on the station car park/yard at Oxsea...........



When I have connected up the lights in the car park and the red car (below), I'll try to produce a better and focussed photo!



The bikes and motor scooters I purchased as a single pack way back in the early 2000s from Broughdale Hobby in London, Ontario when I was visiting my cousin who lives out there.

I have also been trying to populate the station platforms......



......and also been working on completing the fencing around the milk depot........



The fencing was very fiddly to get right, but I think it doesn't look too bad.  The sign I created on the computer and a colour laser printer... it took a bit of time to get the scaling right on this without losing too much of the sharpness of the logo image and text.

Off now to fit the signal box interior.......

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Sorry about the lack of updates but I have been abroad for most of the last 6 weeks!  The next couple of weeks also look very busy so not sure if/when I will be able to get back to the shed..........

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Actually managed to find a little time yesterday to lift the middle Oxsea board and complete the wiring for the internal light of the signal box.  I have now also cleared the station board of loose items so that I can now complete replacement of damaged station lights, install ground signals for the crossover and complete wiring up lights installed in the station car park.  I also need to complete the station canopy for platforms 1 and 2 and install the under-canopy lighting.

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Today I should have had a new garage door installed.......  but when the installers arrived they checked the measurements and found that the door supplied was too small!!  The boss now has some explaining to do as it was he who came and took the measurements.  Will have to wait another 3-6 weeks for one the correct size to arrive.

This was a bit of a blow as I have had to clear out part of the garage (including a number of model railway items, including the 6x4ft layout used as a testbed when I had the business) and everything has been moved elsewhere.  Not worth moving it back, though, until the job is finished.

However, without having to check on what was going on with the garage door installation I was able to use some time in the shed so have completed replacing damaged station lamps and wiring up the lamps in the station car park.  They all work, but the lights on the DCC Concepts cars don't, and I can't work out why so I'll have to spend some time investigating that another day. I have also located the Absolute Aspects ground signals which will be used on the crossover in Oxsea station so I will install those tomorrow and start to wire those up.

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Ground signals installed and working correctly.  Only problem now is that the point motors don't work!!  It IS after all Friday 13th..............

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Hi John.  What? None of the point Motors work, that must be really unlucky. Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin

No, just the two on the station crossover.  Well one of them works in part.  I think the problem might be that they haven't been used for months now whilst I have been concentrating on other parts of the layout, so few trains have actually been running.  They are both Peco point motors driven from a Team Digital SMD84 and should work off the same address.

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Hi John.   Thank you . I don’t know about the latest point Motors ? but Peco should know what they are doing.I had sticking points on my plank and I removed the spring, they don’t snap across anymore .
Best wishes. Kevin

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Well I haven't been completely idle during the last month! 

To add to the station crossover conundrum, the points now work correctly but the ground signals don't. For some reason they have stopped indicating when it is safe to use the crossover but I haven't yet been able to lift the board to take a look underneath to see if a wire has come loose from the decoder.  Hopefully I'll be able to do that in the next few days. On the plus side I can operate the switchover and signals with one macro to allow the crossover and another to set the points and signals straight.

I have been populating the platforms with Prieser figures and also now completed constructing the station canopy for platforms 1 and 2 at Oxsea from 3 Metcalfe kits and have installed lights under the canopy.  Yesterday I managed to connect up the wires from the lights to the power supply and test them, including the wall lights which I had already installed in the smaller station building.  Now I need to manage the wires as they exit the smaller station building whilst at the same time allow some movement of both the building and the canopy as they are both close to the shed wall when the board is lifted and would be crushed if it wasn't possible to move them temporarily to a slightly better position.

As an aside, I have been told our new garage door (hopefully the right size this time) will be fitted next weekend!


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Today I thought I had finished Oxsea station:



I have tried to create some scenarios with the positioning of figures on and around the station......



and then......

I discovered that none of the station lights work!

Guess what I'm doing this afternoon?

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It looks great, John.  :thumbs

I'm sure that you will fix it.  :lol:

Marty
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Nice work John, you’ll give us an evening photo to show us all the work you’ve done on lighting won’t you?
Cheers

Marty

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Lighting problem solved.  I'm still not sure what the problem was, though I narrowed it down to the lighting in the new canopy I had built.  So I connected up the lights to a different power source, along with the DCC Concepts car lights on the station forecourt, and they all now work.

Promise I will try to post a couple of photos of the illuminated station, probably late tomorrow afternoon.

Now I can get back to the rest of the layout!  Next job is the 3rd rail on the connecting board between Chelford and Oxsea and then making a start on adding point motors to the Chelford board. Under-board access is especially difficult on some parts of the Chelford board so I'll have to work out which type of motors will be most appropriate in each position and how many slow-motion and solenoid motors I actually have left (I don't want to buy any more if I can help it!).

Marty
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Looking forward to the pictures John.
It’s always nice to finish something and then move onto the next.

Keep it coming.

Marty

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Well I have taken some photos but I must apologise for the quality of them, especially the ones taken without a flash.  My shaky hands have the better of me, even with a tripod in use!









So then I thought a photo of the signal box........



and the goods shed........



a view of part of the Battenham area underneath Oxsea.......



alternative view from the Oxsea station end......







and finally a view of the Rrampmeter showing the voltage output (12.7) and amps (2.49) drawn by almost everything electrical on this side of the whole layout.  The Chelford side is connected to a second power supply and NCE 5 amp booster, but more of that in the future.


Last edited on Thu Nov 16th, 2017 07:15 pm by BromsMods

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Earlier today I took delivery of a Branor Systems HDW CamTruck.


I saw this reviewed recently in a model railway magazine and thought that this would be a useful as well as an interesting addition to my railway. It can be pushed or pulled by a loco and will record its travels around the layout.  Recordings from the internal micro SD card can be downloaded to a PC.  There is an onboard battery, charged via the USB port of the computer and connected to the mini USB on the side of the wagon (shown on the left in the photo above).  The only downside is that it doesn't transmit pictures remotely - that would be especially useful in the Battenham area of the layout.  Still I guess you can't have everything!!

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Hi John. Track level photography , sounds interesting, looking forward to seeing the results . Best wishes. Kevin

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Well I made a quick test video this pm - just wanted to try out the technology.  Picture quality seems excellent, but please don't comment on the quality of the layout!  Remember it is still very much a work in progress.  The video actually help me identify a problem with accessing one of the tracks in the underboard fiddle yard!!

Test video

Edit:   Unfortunately the sound seems to have disappeared!

Last edited on Wed Nov 29th, 2017 12:18 am by BromsMods

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Hi John

You might want to post it on YouTube.  It spends most of its time buffering.

It might bring the sound back as well.

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I have just opened the video link on my iPad and it works just fine, including sound!!

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John, certainly no good via latest version of Firefox or even Internet Explorer 11 - buffering and no sound

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On a pc you can just right click the link and download the video to your local machine then there are no buffering problems.

The file is 92mb, so unless you have a very quick connection you will get the buffering issues trying to view it online.

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Thanks Andy, that worked, certainly a large file for just under 2 minutes.

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Have just tried converting the video into different formats but the smallest I can get it to is 85Mb.  It does seem a ridiculous size for such a short film.

Last edited on Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 09:15 pm by BromsMods

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Snow put paid to any hope of getting to the shed earlier this week so I have spent a few hours today trying to complete Oxsea and the end link board to Chelford.  I think I'm alomst there, having completed the wiring for the last signal on the linkboard and having to replace a damaged signal on the central Oxsea board, I can now run trains from the Chelford area into Oxsea - well almost!

There has been more movement of the board structures which has now caused a slight vertical mis-alignment of the tracks across the join between the link board and the end Oxsea board.  Although trains will just about run across the join I guess I'm going to have to re-lay track across the join at some stage, but I'll leave that until I have done some work on Chelford and can begin to clear the decks a little.There has also been more movement on the Battenham boards but not enough to disrupt train movements.  I'm really wishing I hadn't used this recommended compressed foamboard as it isn't strong enough to handle any substantial weight.

First task on Chelford is start to install point motors as all track is in place, though not fixed down yet.  I will have to be selective about what type of motor I can put in some places as the boards sit on top of some kitchen carcasses and there isn't much space underneath in some places where the horizontal top-rail of the carcass lies just under the board.  This is something that I hadn't thought about when I initially built the Chelford board (of wood, this time!) as I hadn't even decided exactly what the layout would look like or what types of point motor I would have available to me.  Certainly where points lie directly above the top-rails I will have to use solenoid point motors as there isn't enough space for Cobalt or Tortoise motors.There are 17 points on the Chelford board so I'll have to see how many of each type of motor I have and where a particular type is required.

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Part way through installing the first point motor on the Chelford board.  However, the first Cobalt Digital I tried failed to accept its ID and just kept gently rocking the mechanism a small amount forward and backward - never seen that before.  Couldn't do anything with it, even adjusting the voltage output on the bench power supply I'm using for this part of the layout and trying everything between 9 and 12 volts.

So now on my second Cobalt, which has accepted the ID and I now need to fix in place, working upside down and stretching across my somewhat overloaded workbench!!

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After a great deal of contortion, pain, sweat but thankfully no tears I eventually got the Cobalt, in its very awkward and inaccessible place, and working, secured by a couple of screws and two sticky fixers.  I tested it several times to make sure all was well and the throw was complete in both directions.

Today I connected the point back up to the track I had to move away from the point and all seemed to be fine.  Until I thought I would test the point motor again to make sure it was working after fixing the track in place.   .......Nothing......  Dead as a Dodo........  Not only that but my ProCabR wouldn't work either, locking up whilst booting. 

Ever thought about packing everything in??  I must admit my heart sank and rather than trying to solve the problems I decided to have a running session on the Oxsea boards.  Very therapeutic!!

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That doesn't sound good, John.

Are the two issues related?

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Hi Max

No, I think I have two separate issues to resolve.  I'm hoping I've just found the solution to the ProCabR issue on the NCE site, but I'll try that out tomorrow.  It's getting late and Father Christmas has just finished wrapping a lot of presents so he's feeling rather tired I expect (actually, I know!!!) !!

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Sod's Law in operation again today - point motor now works!!  However, ProCabR doesn't, even after tring NCE fix, so have emailed them for advice.

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ProCabR now working.  I think the instructions on the NCE site need to be a little more precise as they only mention plugging a ProCab into the RB2 when trying to reset it (the RB2 base station) - in fact it has to be the ProCabR, then the reset procedure works!

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Don't you hate intermittent faults!

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Indeed!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Many years ago John Forsyth of TCS came and stayed with us when he was trying to publicise his brand in the UK.  On one occasion he came with us to the Warley show to demonstrate his expanding range of loco decoders.  Whilst he was here we had many discussions about decoders (some of which  resulted in TCS producing UK versions of their decoders and harnesses) and also DCC control systems.

Well I have just come across this video of the DCC control system which TCS are hoping to bring to market next year (2018)...........

https://www.facebook.com/tcsdcc/videos/1535736959845737/


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A Very Merry Christmas to anyone reading this thread today.  I hope that Father Christmas managed to supply your modelling wishes.

Last edited on Mon Dec 25th, 2017 03:29 pm by BromsMods

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Hi John   Merry Christmas to you.  I am my own “Father Christmas” ? And have been filling my lumpy Christmas stocking throughout the year. Ho Ho Ho.   Kevin.     PS.    think of Christ? or Christmas and think of my surname .

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It has been a few weeks since I posted any updates, so apologies for that.  I did little last week as I was felled by a stomach bug on the Monday and it took a few days to recover, and this week I have been away in the caravan to Bristol.  Whilst there, the weather being rather damp, my wife and I went to Model Railways Direct in Portishead. It was a devil of a job to find (we drove past it once, apparently!) in a rabbit warren of a housing estate but once there I was mightily impressed with the small shop.  It has to be the tidiest model shop I have ever been in with products well displayed in product type and I had quite a long chat with the owner - well worth a visit if you are down that way (and can find it!).

I have been doing some more point motor installation on the Chelford boards over the last few weeks, but progress has been slow, mainly because I have tended to spend short periods of time in the shed both as a result of the weather and also I have been getting backache bending over and under the layout.  Today I managed to install a couple of Cobalt IP motors, which went suprisingly well.  I have discovered that the sticky Cobalt pads which DCC Concepts sell work very well with their point motors but not so well with Tortoise motors which are much heavier so don't stick permanently to the underside of the board.  Next week I will probably try to wrestle with getting the Tortoises in the right position to switch the point blades correctly and stick them with the pads and then with a lot of contortion try to fix them permanently with screws.

I have also installed a couple of DCC Concepts buffer stops on two of the sidings at Chelford.  I thought these were going to be straightforward and the first one certainly was but the second one was a nightmare as I had so much difficulty soldering the very fine wire to the required 1K resistor.  Eventually got that sorted.

I have also taken delivery of some of the new ground signals from DCC Concepts.  In theory (and according to the instructions) these should be a doddle to install.  They are designed to work with a Mimic Display Control Board which came supplied in the pack with 12 signals. Now I have used Mimic Display Control Boards before, as detailed elsewhere in this thread, but never expected them to be used for this purpose.  I would have expected the signals to have been designed to work in conjunction with point motors and this was what I was hoping would be possible.  A diagram has eventually appeared on the DCC Concepts website which shows how this might be possible but it isn't as straightforward as I expected.  So, I have found a solution which will work using Mimic Display Red/Green LEDs which I already have.  The pack I purchased also contained 3 Y-connector boards, so connecting one of these to the Mimic Display Control Board on the input side of the connector and a signal and a LED on the two outputs does (almost) achieve the right display on both signal and LED.  The only trouble is that the two outputs are reversed, so the LED shows red when it should be green.  The way round this is to connect the LED display to the alternative output from the MDCB (there are two outputs, one for each position of the point). 

Having discovered a solution to the problem I am now faced with the issue of Y-connectors.  Although 3 are supplied in the pack these connectors are NOT available as spares (can you believe it??!) and I need a lot more.  So I purchased some other packs of 2-pin splitter boards which are available but NONE of them work correctly to produce the desired outcome. Tomorrow I will be back on the phone to DCC Concepts to see what can be done to resolve this ridiculous situation.

One other issue I have had with the pack is the drill bit it comes with.  The bit is designed to drill a hole into which the elongated tube protruding from the ground signal will fit snugly into the baseboard.  Fine in theory but once drilled it is impossible to get the wiring from the signal into the hole as the 2-pin connector attached to the signal wiring is too big to fit through the hole!

Last edited on Thu Jan 25th, 2018 11:52 pm by BromsMods

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For those who might be interested I have temporarily put a video of the ground signal/splitter boards problem on our website at https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/dcc_concepts_manuals.htm

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Hi John. Very interesting , I don’t want to put the dampener on this thread, but , are the position light signals over sized for OO gauge?    Best wishes. Kevin

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Mmmmm.......  I did think that when I first unpacked them.  They are certainly larger than other ground signals I have on other parts of the layout.  I also commented on this to someone on another forum but they didn't think the signals were too large.

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 Hi John.  Thank you for your reply , I didn’t want to appear rude . I was only going from memory. and of course I don’t know the size of your thumb, but I was guessing about one to two foot high (4 to 8 mm) .Best wishes   Kevin

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BromsMods wrote: For those who might be interested I have temporarily put a video of the ground signal/splitter boards problem on our website at https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/dcc_concepts_manuals.htm

John, the video stops & starts in both IE & Firefox.

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Sol wrote: BromsMods wrote: For those who might be interested I have temporarily put a video of the ground signal/splitter boards problem on our website at https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/dcc_concepts_manuals.htm

John, the video stops & starts in both IE & Firefox.

I think that suggests something to do with the download speed.  I've just run it on my iPad using Safari and it runs straight through. I have also run it using Firefox without any issues. Have you tried just downloading the video and then running it?

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John, downloading and saving it to see how things go but I have seen other larger videos without that problem.
Currently my normal download speed is 21.2Mbps

but that video is downloading at 56 Kbps.

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OK  now viewed the video. It does seem that having different LEDs connected , one set of LEDs uses all the power...
Did you send that video to DCC Concepts?

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Yep, that's why I put it there for Richard to see.  He came up with the same conclusion, that you can't mix products on any of the multiple output splitter boards.  But that isn't quite true as the Y-splitter (provided in the initial pack) allows both signal and mimic LEDs to display, and the problem is that these boards aren't available as spares!

I have now removed the link to the video.

Last edited on Fri Feb 2nd, 2018 12:45 pm by BromsMods

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One other thing I did a few weeks ago was purchase a Tam Valley Hex Frog Juicer from Digitrains and that is now installed and working.  I don't want to start another argument about whether these are valid electrical devices for model railway layouts (there have been plenty of those on other forums) but I think HFJ are brilliant and do the job they were designed for (resolving short circuits on live frog points) with a minimum of soldering.  Unfortunately I didn't keep any from when I was running the business, so had to purchase said device!

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Hi John.   I wouldn’t dare argue, besides I don’t know what they do. Having said that, my wiring started out very tidy until I added the extra wiring  to avoid stalling ? now it looks a complete mess, more so than that behind the tellyBest wishes. Kevin

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Passed Driver wrote: Hi John.   I wouldn’t dare argue, besides I don’t know what they do. Having said that, my wiring started out very tidy until I added the extra wiring  to avoid stalling ? now it looks a complete mess, more so than that behind the tellyBest wishes. Kevin

You haven't seen under the Chelford board!!!

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Hi John.   Considering the fact that my Shunting Puzzles only mseaure 4 ft x 9 inches and 4 ft x 14 inches respectively . You would be surprised , just like a Swan, calm on top or the baseboard , and Bedlam below .Best wishes Kevin 

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Well I have managed to start work on the Chelford platforms, installed a couple more Cobalt point motors (with two being replaced by DCC Concepts after they failed to respond to any commands) and a couple more ground signals and done some more ballasting.

An update on the ground signals - after a few emails with DCC Concepts and their own testing of various connector boards they kindly sent me some of the Y-connectors even though they said that they hadn't intended to make these available as spares.  However, it now seems they have realised that if customers want to use the Mimic Control Board to control both ground signals and mimic LEDs they will have to make these available, so the Y-connectors are now available on their website!!  One thing I did find  rather surprising during our exchanges was that, although used for both Mimic Panels and Ground Signals, the Mimic Control Board was never intended to be used for both purposes simultaneously!!

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I haven't managed to get into the shed very much over the last few weeks, what with rain, wind and snow and for the last week a cold/virus from hell, which has left me constantly coughing.

Work has continued on ballasting and yesterday I used the Rusty Rails painter on most of the track on the Chelford station area and sidings.

A few days ago I received........



The main reason for purchasing these was to replace the tyres on the Lima 3-car DMU I have, where the tyres had literally falled off!  This is a very old model and the rubber tyres had clearly perished and stretched so much that they were just hanging loose.  This morning I replaced them with new tyres and managed to oil the mechanism linking the motor to the axles.


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Today I have started putting in the 3rd rails around Chelford station.  My goodness these are fiddly bits to deal with.  I'm just thankful that I had already cut out all of the necessary pieces from the sprues.

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The last couple of weeks have been a little frustrating.  Having carried on with installing as many long lengths of 3rd rail as I could I then had to stop work on the railway, discovering damp in the "gardening" corner of the shed.  I had to lift the carpet and clean off the black areas on the lower walls in the corner of the shed where I keep mostly garden implements and equipment.  Then I had to let the floor area in the corner dry out before putting clear mastic along the floor/wall join.  I also put a strip of timber along the outside of the shed between the existing outer shipboard layer and the internal frame, just as a precautionary measure in case there was moisture getting in from below.

Having got back to the railway I then decided that I really didn't like the 3-way point at the right hand end of Chelford station and I have been wrestling since then with various point/track combinations, none of which I have been particularly happy with.  I'll have to see if I can solve the issues later this afternoon.

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Hi John.    Have you put any thought into “ an arrangement of Y points “ ? Laid close together they can make an interesting alternative to a three way track plan .  Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin

No, I don't have enough room for that sort of arrangement, so I have decided to lose one of the sidings I had planned and use large radiius points.  Getting to the far corner of the layout is a challenge, even using the folding steps my wife bought me, but I have managed to paint the plasterboard around the corner pale (sky?) blue and also finished painting the baseboard before laying the new pointwork and two sidings.  Just need to fit point motors.

Also need to construct the main platform of Chelford before I can ballast the track and add 3rd rails.

Last weekend I was in Kent at my brother's house and did a little more for him on his N gauge layout.  It made me realise that I am much happier with HO/OO scale!!  However, I did fit a couple of decoders in some EMUs he had, including the Hornby/Arnold Brighton Belle (for which I have added a guide at https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/arnold_5BELdccinstr.htm).  At first the loco wouldn't run very well but I found that running it in and lightly oiling the worm gears over each bogie now allow it to run properly.

This week I need to do some soldering to add control boards for some Traintronics signals I have installed on the Chelford board and also to wire in the buffer stop lights on four sidings.

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Hi John   It was just an idea, that I picked up on YMRC. Sky blue may work for my backscene?Best wishes. Kevin

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Passed Driver wrote: Sky blue may work for my backscene?

That's what I was hoping!!!  At least it gives a base on which to build something!

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Cheers John    Who would have thought , that one small layout would cause so many questions? Best wishes. Kevim

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Haven't got anywhere near the shed this last week, let alone the soldering.  Too much to do in the garden once the weather changed for the better and it stopped raining (at last!).  Not going to be able to do anything now for a few weeks with other commitments but will try to get Chelford board completed as soon as possible.

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Having been abroad for the last four weeks and then confronted by some high temperatures which made it impossible to spend any time in the shed, I only managed yesterday to get in for just a few minutes.

I have finally managed to get the last Tortoise motor installed on one end of a double slip outside the main Chelford approach. I thought I had finished installing point motors at this end of the station but discovered one point that didn't throw when I expected it to!  I also had great difficulty fitting the motor as the hole for the actuator arm wasn't quite big enough so I had to use my Dremel with a grinding attachment to make the hole a little larger from beneath (the double slip is already fixed in position and ballasted!).  However, when I left it yesterday all was working well.  Too wet today to get anywhere near the shed.......

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Fortunately we have missed most of the heavy storms that have been around this week, but it has been very warm in the garden and quite hot in the shed which has had the sun on it most days.  This means that I have only been able to spend up to an hour at a time in there, with temperatures well over 30 degrees most days.

Today, however, I managed to complete the installation of track and point motors on the Chelford section of the layout - another milestone completed!!  I just need to build the platform for the main station building, ballast the track, paint it, install 3rd rails and signals ........ and I'm sure there is something else I've temporarily forgotten!

Then I can start on the engine shed/turntable board.....

Last edited on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 07:52 pm by BromsMods

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Hi John    The Hot Shed problem? I don’t know if you have enough clearance for insulation inside the roof?  Or you could plant a sedum roof “ , they are supposed to keep the inside cool.  Best wishes.  Kevin

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Hi Kevin

Walls and roof are well insulated  - I did that years ago before I started on the layout.  As for sedum, I'm not sure the roof is that strong!!  I'm also not sure I would want to provide creepy crawly things with another medium to provide access inside.  I already battle with spiders and the occasional ant (which in itself is a recent and somewhat worrying occurrence as they must be getting in from underneath and I have so much stuff stored under the layout).

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Hi John.   Thank you for your reply. That is a good point that you have made there.  Best wishes. Kevin

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Following a week visiting two of the Italian lakes I have spent about an hour each day (can't spend any longer as shed too hot!) doing a number of things including ballasting (though I ran out of glue and had to wait a couple of days until I could find time to get to Footplate in Kidderminster) and installing some signals on the Chelford board. 

Whilst installing the Traintronics signals, together with their TT301 DCC control boards, I thought I would revisit the Absolute Aspects problem signal I bought.  I can set all of the CVs as provided by Paul Harman of Signalist for use of extended accessory packets but I'm completely stumped as to how they can be used on the NCE Power-Pro command station.  I even found instructions for the relatively new NCE Light-It decoder which can, like the Signalist decoder, use extended packets (see the link at https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/NCE_manuals.htm) and whilst the manual goes into great detail about the flexibility of the decoder and what it can be used for (including control of signals) it doesn't explain how the CVs that have been configured from the handset can actually be used from the handset.

So if anyone has any bright ideas (which doesn't include the use of a computer) I would be really interested to hear your thoughts!

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During the last couple of days I have battled on against the heat in the shed in small bursts and have managed to complete installing third rails on two of the four tracks through Chelford station.

However, I am very concerned about the very high temperatures being observed in the shed (over 36 degrees when I went in there yesterday) and the effect this might be having on models and accessories.  I have already noted that a number of the sticky backed cable tidies I have used have come adrift and some of the models feel very warm to the touch.  I have explored several possible solutions but not of them seem to meet all of my criteria for reducing the heat in the shed.  This morning I have opened the door so that it is halfway open - which will work unril the sun moves further round, then I will have to close it.

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Hi John.

Perhaps something like this might help.
https://www.dyson.ie/fans-and-heaters/dyson-hot-cool-overview.html
I don't know anything about them but maybe there's some place near you which might be able to give a demo ?


Tony.

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Hi Tony

Thanks for that.  I started to look at this as an option until I saw the price!

Regards

John

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Yes they're not cheap are they ?

Perhaps you might get one on special offer ?


Tony.

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I have spent some time trying to find out a little more about these very expensive gadgets to see how effective they are at cooling things down.  Couldn't find very much on that aspect of the device, even on the Dyson site, but came across this response from Customer Support at Dyson to someone who complained about the ineffectiveness of these devices in cooling down a room:-

I'm very sorry to learn of the disappointment you're having with your Hot+Cool machine. It's important to note with our Air Multiplier machines that they are not air conditioning units. They will not lower the temperature of a room but rather circulate the air and blow it onto the user creating a cooling sensation.



So I think I'll give these a miss and continue my search elsewhere.

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Earlier last week I managed to complete most of the ballasting of Chelford and finish wiring upp three buffer stop lights, this being done in short stints to avoid the increasing temperatures in the shed.

However, I'm not sure now when I will get back to the railway as my head is all over the place, having received the devastating news on Friday that my wife is seriously ill.  I will just have to take each day as it comes............

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I'm sorry to hear that, John.

I'm sure everyone here wishes her the best.

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The news regarding your wife's health must be a worrisome burden John and I offer my heartfelt and sincere best wishes for happier times ahead for you and Mrs John.

We're all rooting for you both, so do what you need to do and come chat when you're able.

Best,

Bill

Last edited on Sun Jul 8th, 2018 06:44 pm by Longchap

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So sorry to hear about your wife's health problems John.Best wishes to you both at this time.

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Many thanks Max, Bill and Alan.  Your kind words and thoughts are much appreciated.

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Sadly my wife, who many modellers will have met at shows we attended, has been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.  The prognosis does not look good.

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Hello John and I'm sorry to hear your sad news. Give your wife a loving but from all of us on here and enjoy your companionship for as long as you are able.

Best,

Bill

Last edited on Sun Sep 2nd, 2018 09:10 am by Longchap

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I'm very sorry to hear of your wife's illness John.
You have my prayers & good wishes.
Tony.

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The ongoing situation with my wife has meant that I haven't been able, either in terms of time or concentration, to do any modelling over the last month or so. 

What I have been able to do, though, in short bursts, is to go through the stock list I have on a spreadsheet, in particular locos, updating on where they are located (boxed, on the layout, in storage, awaiting repair or on the workbench), whether they have been DCC'd and if so what decoder is installed, their DCC loco number and their value. I have been especially surprised at the number of DCC locos which haven't been used for some time which now don't work for one reason or another. 

This activity is also worthwhile doing to update the value of your layout, not just to include locos and rolling stock but also all the peripheral accessories, of which there are probably many including scenic items and electronic additions (including loco decoders, accessory decoders, point motors, block detection, mimic panels, etc.), not forgetting the control system itself, in order to make sure that everything is covered for insurance purposes.The results can be surprising!

If you don't have a record of what you have or haven't updated it for some time then this is a very worthwhile task - I found a number of items I had bought some time ago and hadn't recorded - especially if, like me, you are planning for the future and possibly passing on the task of disposal to someone else.  Experience has taught me to always expect the unexpected.

Last edited on Fri Sep 28th, 2018 08:09 am by BromsMods

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John,

May your God give you and your wife the strength to get through this difficult time.






BromsMods wrote: If you don't have a record of what you have or haven't updated it for some time then this is a very worthwhile task - I found a number of items I had bought some time ago and hadn't recorded - especially if, like me, you are planning for the future and possibly passing on the task of disposal to someone else.  Experience has taught me to always expect the unexpected.


Its a sobering thought that after years of modelling and purchasing items, the day may come when the layout outlives us and disposal falls to the next of kin.  Having a detailed inventory is sound advice and should make this task easier

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Sadly my wife passed away this morning.

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Very sorry to hear your sad news John, please accept my deepest condolences.

Lost my Mum at the age of 95 at the end of March, and I still find it difficult some days.

As many have said to me, life goes on.

I know that won't help a lot, but I'm sure all the forum member's thoughts are with you.




Ed




Last edited on Fri Oct 19th, 2018 05:56 pm by Ed

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Please accept my condolences a very difficult time for you.


Brian

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I'm so very sorry to receive your sad news John. Please know that my thoughts and most sincere wishes are right there with you and will continue to be so, as you move through this difficult time.

Warmest regards,

Bill
 

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John. my deepest sympathies.
I hope for her sake, she didn't suffer and I, like others on this forum, know what you have gone through.

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Many thanks for the supportive messages and apologies for the fact that there haven't been any updates on layout progress for some time.  That's mainly because I haven't managed to get to the shed for several months now, both during the time when my wife was ill and laterly, following her death, because I have had so much to do with probate, etc. as her executor and also a lack of enthusiasm for anything.  I sometimes feel I am not dealing too well with her loss, especially at this time of year when Christmas was her thing - frankly I will be glad when it is over.

I will try to provide some updates in the New Year when, hopefully, I will be able to get into my new normality.

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Hi John

It is good to hear from you again.  

I understand how you feel, if not exactly the same - I have lost my mother and my brother recently, and my father and sister have both been given a diagnosis.  There is not anything anyone can say to make us feel any better.  But talking about it does help - and I am sure you will find many listeners here.  

For me, I have plans to celebrate my family in my layout - my mother was an artist, so she will appear somewhere with her easel….. my brother was, sadly, a Manchester United fan - even he will appear in his team's colours, catching a train north.... my father was a blacksmith, so there will be a village smithy, and my sister will turn up with her children somewhere, perhaps a play park, or heading off to school.  I'm not ready for those scenes yet, but the thought that they will turn up in my model world is a comfort of sorts.  

Christmas is a really tough time - it meant so much to my mum - the tree would have gone up in October if she had her way.  I, for one, would love to see how your model world might share some of your memories and stories.  This isn't a normal forum, there are people who really care and want to help.  And I want to learn from you too!

Warm regards

Michael

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Good to hear from you John and don't worry about layout updates.

Know exactly what you mean about Christmas, we've also not been looking forward to it and will be glad when it's over.

Look after yourself.


Ed

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Chin up Michael  This is my first Christmas without my lovely wife ,passed away in August.
We just have to Shed a private tear now and then and carry on .  What else can we do..
Lovely to have this virtual family on here, Lets hope for a better 2019..

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Well I still haven't managed to get into the shed...........

You wouldn't believe the number of things that have gone wrong for me since my wife passed away.  The last was three weeks ago when I was supposed to be going away for a few days in my new motorhome (which had already been away for repair after I pranged it on the first day I got it!) but instead of ending up in Broadway I found myself in A&E in Redditch.  Now I have to undergo a major operation in a few days time and then about 6 weeks to recover.......  I sometimes think my problems will never end.........

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Hi John, good to hear from you.

Funny how things tend to come along in batches, but as my old Mum used to say, there's always someone worse off than you.

She was probably right, just sometimes doesn't feel like it.

Best of luck with the op.



Ed

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You have had a rough few months now John get the op out of the way and im sure things will start to improve for you.



Brian

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Yesterday I managed to get into the shed.  I only spent about 15 minutes there and managed to start the other platform for Chelford, but I couldn't summon up any real enthusiasm for it, or, for that matter, anything else at the moment.  I am still recovering from the major operation I had and it is becoming very frustrating not being able to get around and do things, especially in the garden where so much needs to be done. I'm just hoping the appointment with the consultant tomorrow will be positive and release some of the "shackles" which are constraining me.

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Here's hoping. Best of luck to you.

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Last edited on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 07:11 pm by Headmaster

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Chin up John, we are all rooting for you.

Best,

Bill


Last edited on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 07:14 pm by Longchap

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I did mean that I am hoping for good news tomorrow, John.  I am really hoping that we will see some of your skills back here soon

Michael

Last edited on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 09:22 pm by Headmaster

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Well I still haven't managed to spend any time of note in the shed apart from starting to glue down the platform surface for Chelford Platform 1. I have been too busy in the garden (why is it weeds seem to grow faster than anything else?), spending time in France (for 4 weeks) and trying to sort out a problem with my right eye (which meant spending two days in Sheffield) before having the cataracts removed next month.

I have managed to purchase two more locos, though.  A Bachmann class 37 with sound and a Dapol class 22, both from Rails.  The class 37 sound is very good from what I have heard so far but have only managed to run it on my short test track in the garage.  The class 22 will get a sound decoder when I can get around to it, hopefully next month.

Many thanks to those who have offered supporting comments above.  I am just hoping that when the cataracts are sorted I will have reached the end of my medical issues for the time being. (But I am not holding my breath!)

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John, gardening tasks are keeping me away from doing modelling too.  In my case bindweed seems to have found a home, and that is painful to get rid of.  But glad a little bit has been done.  Hopefully successful treatment will have you back in the shed soon.  I am waiting for an operation date, but given my father fell and broke his thigh bone today and the ambulance took three and a half hours to get to him, I'm not expecting a date anytime soon.  If that's the emergency response time, what chance have I got for a relatively routine operation?

At least it will give me time to attack those weeds.

Regards

Michael

Last edited on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 11:56 pm by Headmaster

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You have my sympathy, Michael. Excessive delays in the NHS is one reason I went private for my recent medical issues. Not cheap but at least I got prompt attention, and from those who would have dealt with me in the NHS hospital!

Chin up - take the frustration out on the weeds!


                 

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